Beloved

Dear President Trump,

Today was a churchy sort of day starting with soul choir practice at 9. We’re working on a beautiful song called “MLK” and the last few lines have been playing on repeat in my head for two weeks now, mostly just because of how they sound. I don’t really understand the significance of the words (they are about letting it rain on him, MLK), but the sounds are gorgeous and the tenor II line (which I sing) moves in odd ways relative to everyone else so it’s a cool challenge. We have a ways to go before we are solid on it, but we won’t sing it for two more weeks so we should be good by then.

Church service started at 10:30 and there were a couple of things that I hope to carry with me for a while. The first is from a poem by Hafiz called “Now Is The Time” and it starts with the lines “Now is the time to know / that all you do is sacred.” I am going to park, for now, how for this to be true, it would have to be that everything everyone does is sacred and I can’t go there for you or Mitch. This (major) technicality aside, the affirmation that these lines and the rest of the poem offer felt quite powerful this morning as one of the chancel choir members rather shakily read it aloud to the congregation.

Our main minister carried the theme of profound ok-ness and fundamental loveable-ness through into her sermon and afterwards invited people to come forward and have their baptism confirmed. I felt a little weird going up there since I don’t believe in a God figure and don’t think Jesus is my or anyone else’s personal savior, but I decided that if God is love, then love was there and it was important to participate in it. We got to pick out a stone (not sure why) from a bowl and then a minister dipped her or his thumb in the water basin and made a cross on each person’s forehead and whispered, “you are beloved.” When I sat down after my turn, I realized I hadn’t known how much I needed that. I know I’m loved by Laura and lots of other people, no worries there at all. But somehow it was important to hear that I am beloved just like every other person who went forward got to hear this. No one was told this because they were special or especially loveable and there’s something calming and reassuring about that.

This evening we had a choir potluck at someone’s house who has been part of our church for probably 30 years but can’t attend services any longer because of a neurodegenerative disease. We sang silly songs (like most of the Sound of Music, several from Mary Poppins, and a couple by John Denver) and did our best to surround him and his wife with love. Apparently on the way home from church today, our minister and her grandmother called him to tell him that something reminded them of him and to say hi. He beamed as he recounted that little bit of a story.

May we feel safe and secure.
May we be happy to hold one another through hard, scary times.
May we ease up on ourselves (if we are not you).
May we share peace and love every single day.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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