November 11, 2012

Marriage in Minnesota: Humility and the Vote

Wow.  I barely remember how to do this blogging thing.  It's been so very, very long.  According to the archives, in the past 18 months, I've posted 8 times here. And just twice in the past 14 months.  No wonder I feel rusty!

The reason...? Back in May 2011, the Republican-led legislator approved moving a question onto the 2012 ballot, asking voters to approve amending the Minnesota constitution to define marriage as a union only between a man and a woman. ...Some of you maybe heard a little bit about how that all turned out.  If you completely spaced out between November 6-7, here's a little recap:

Three states in the U.S. affirmed marriage for same-sex couples: Maine, Maryland, and Washington.

And one state--the first state out of 32 tries--rejected a proposed change to the state's constitution, that would have singled out a certain group of people in order to prohibit their freedom to marry.  And the state that rejected such a proposal...?  Minnesota!

I have a lot of topics, experiences, reflections, and reasons to hope that I want to share, but I'll be sifting through them and bringing some of them to you here.  A number of you have followed me on Facebook--or had stopped following me, because of the near-singular focus I've had since May 2011.

For now, I'll share this reflection that arose for me toward the end of a recent worship experience.

A week ago Sunday, I went to Quaker worship in the morning.  While sitting in the awaiting stillness, two things were quickening in me.

One was the concept of humility. The other was an image at the end of the film It's A Wonderful Life.

Toward the end of the hour, this particular worship has the custom of opening up the last few minutes for messages that didn't rise to the level of speaking out of the silence but were still on Friends' hearts. I offered something that went something like this:
When all is said and done on Tuesday, Election Day, regardless of the outcome on certain issues--and even is some issues go the way that we as Friends have been working diligently for, such as marriage equality--I will not feel "proud," as in "proud to be a Minnesotan."  I cannot feel pride when I know that so many people in this state have been transformed by the witness that has been made--about marriage, about the lives of our GLBTQ brothers and sisters.

In fact, I myself have been transformed. It's not that I took up this work as much as it has been that this work has taken me up. And I am humbled by that.

I have been on a path that started long before today. It's a path that long before I set foot on it, so many others have walked, and it's a path that long after I have traveled it, so many others will travel it after me.  But being among fellow travelers... has been so humbling.

And as I sat in worship today, an unexpected image came to me, one of the film favorite, It's A Wonderful Life.

It's the scene where George Bailey comes home after his trials and finds reporters and the Bank Examiner. But he is near tears because he has known the love of the entire town and the grace of the Spirit.  And then in rushes Mary, and they are both crying and speaking over one another because of the experiences they have had that evening, from tremendous despair to mountaintop joy.

And then the people of the town start rushing in--friends, neighbors, the cook, the bartender--and Mary and George are overcome by the love, the Presence... the "Power Over All" as some early Friends have said.

This is how I feel this morning. A humility that sometimes has overcome me, recognizing at a deep and wordless level that we are indeed one Holy Family, lifting one another up, and waiting for the Great Shepherd to be known among us...

1 comment:

Robin M. said...

So if you're going to write, I'm going to read it, and comment.

One holy family of human beings. I like this image. It reminds me that we don't have to like our relatives, we're still related, and we have to live together in this world. In some ways, this is related to the first time somebody pointed out to me that there is no such place as "away", as in sending our garbage away, because it's all part of our same world.

Glad to know that Quaker worship is still helping you to feel connected to God and to other people.