I didn’t make it through the entire second presidential debate. In fact, I had to leave the room a couple of times. I could feel a strange energy building in me. It’s still difficult for me to put my finger on it, but I believe it was a combination of disbelief, frustration, sadness, anxiety, and not a small amount of anger. When it was all over, I couldn’t shake that feeling. I couldn’t let it go. I’m still trying. I keep hearing this voice in my head, “Why don’t you do something about this?” As a child of God, called to live out my baptismal identity of working for justice and peace in all the earth, I feel my insides screaming out to act! I will vote. I will do what I can to promote civility in political discourse. But it just doesn’t seem like enough.
I couldn’t figure out what do until God grabbed me and pointed me in the direction of a very, very wise woman: Hannah.
This Sunday we hear Hannah’s story in 1 Samuel 1 & 2. She, too, experiences the energy of frustration and sadness, but her energy comes from the desperation of wanting a child. However, instead of pacing or lashing out in some way, she does something astounding: she prays. She demonstrates unending courage and tenacity in her prayers. She prays so fervently at the temple that the priest believes she is drunk! She is doing something radical and faithful. O.K., God. I get it!
If you felt anything similar to what I felt after the debate on Sunday, or if you don’t know how to respond to the frustrations and sadness in your life, I invite you to join me. Let us pray!
See you Sunday…