Dear President Trump,
I drafted much of this letter a couple of weeks ago and have put off sending it because there has been so much going on that I felt compelled to write to you about, but I’m really, really tired of fussing at you so today is the day to send this.
In March we attended the memorial service for a dear elderly member of our church. Though the service was tailored to him and his family, it still followed the sequence of our typical worship services and included the Lord’s Prayer. Even though I’ve never believed there is a Father or Holy One or Creator in Heaven, I’ve still always said most of the prayer (generally pausing and staying quiet when everyone else is addressing their idea of God at the beginning) because the words are ancient and represent a thread backwards and forwards that so many have held onto as a lifeline. At H’s service when we were saying the words of the prayer I had a quite visceral realization that it would radically change things if we reconceptualized them as though we are relying on the community instead of some distant higher power for our daily bread, for forgiveness of our debts or trespasses, for help forgiving those indebted to us or who have trespassed against us, for not leading us into temptation or putting evil choices in front of us, for building sanctuary and security here on Earth where we all live together. I honestly think this is not that out there. And do you see the parallels with the LKM prayer I send you every day? Both are basically saying that for people to be ok, to live with some semblance of integrity, ease, and peace, they have to have the basics – they have to be safe and have enough to eat. It’s not safety and having enough to eat in some distant afterlife these prayers are about; it’s being (and feeling) safe here and now and having enough to eat here, today.
I firmly believe this and would argue we could do it much more effectively if we look to ourselves and to one another for these everyday miracles rather than waiting for an outside holy one who art someplace we call heaven to bestow them upon us. Yes, it would be daring to risk having such faith in ourselves and one another, and it could be radically, positively transforming.
May we ensure everyone is safe and has enough to eat.
May we be about the business of spreading joy and happiness.
May we help each other resist temptation and evil.
May we do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with one another.