Dear President Trump,
Today I saw and heard things that give me hope that we have the capacity to be ok, that we can come through this sad, infuriating, broken time of ours and be ok. This afternoon we went to the Total Experience Gospel Choir’s farewell concert honoring Pastor Patrinell Wright. It was in one of the big old theaters downtown and as a big old theater, it’s not very accessible. Most of the seats are up in the steep balcony making it tough for a lot of the elderly folks. After the lights had gone down an old woman with a cane was making her way up the stairs, eventually needing to hold onto the backs of the seats. One of the people seated on the aisle held out her hand for the woman to grab and then another did and then another got up to let her sit down. It was pretty lovely. Near the end of the concert another older women with a cane was leaving, making her way down the stairs slowly and carefully. A man sitting on the aisle up above went down and gave her his arm. He deposited her at the landing and then quietly made his way back to his seat. It was pretty lovely.
Throughout the concert there was a revolving cast of conductors and soloists, heavily numerically favoring African American women. No one dominated the show at all, including Pastor Wright. It was a glorious time. Our Mayor proclaimed October 7th as Seattle’s official Pastor Patrinell Wright Day and Senator Maria Cantwell sent a strong, beautiful letter thanking Pastor Wright for all she’s done for Washington State and the country. One of the other tributes to Pastor Wright was from two people from Japan who’ve worked for years with Wright. The woman told the story of the choir performing in Japan to raise money and bring love and hope after the devastating tsunami. She said she and Pastor Wright agreed that Jesus and Buddha expressed the same core message of love and the conviction that the world can be made whole and right. The man performed a call and response song he wrote about Nelson Mandela to celebrate Mandela’s model of eschewing revenge and leading with love. I wish you could have been there. You would have had to be in disguise to avoid being disruptive and distracting, but I wish you could have been in the audience taking it all in. I think even you would have been moved.
May we all be safe to sing out loud.
May we not let anyone take away our capacity for joy.
May we hold out for healthy, generous inclusivity.
May we reject revenge-seeking and stay steadfast in the pursuit of peace.