Dear Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit… or Howard which is what Anne Lamott calls You… or The Aunties which is what we call You when we need to remember You are Wise and Smart and Savvy and Strong, and that You laugh uproariously and shriek when You skinny dip, and sneak us tiny tastes of bourbon by the fire which is Love Made Flesh exactly and reminds us that You wear Many Guises and are known by Many Names,
We could use a Little Help.
Dear Jesus and God and the Holy Ghost, who we thought was a Real Ghost of the Haunting Variety when we were children which Freaked Us Out but now that we are Grown and Mature and Mostly Over It,
We humbly come to You in Prayer and also in Wish-Making because, Oh Dear God, we do so need Your help, please.
It’s just that Mr. Trump is running for President… of, you know, the United States… which is a Very Big Deal in the world these days because we have things like Nuclear Weapons and Google and Amazon and very, very Large Servings of Fries, and Other Prolific, Dangerous Things which shouldn’t be entrusted to Just Anybody, and we are Worried. To be perfectly honest, Mr. Trump Freaks Us the Hell Out more than Your Holy Ghostliness ever did, though we hope that doesn’t offend You because You tried very hard and were very haunty and scary, we swear.
Mr. Trump is running for President which makes us feel Jittery and Confused and Bewildered and Afraid because he makes Wild Promises he’s unlikely to keep, and beckons large crowds with Malice and Spite and Effective Right Hooks, and drives wedges in fragile fissures in what makes America great when she’s at her best — namely Freedom and Equality and the Right for Every Person to Pursue Justice and Hope — and we thought we ought to bring All That to Your attention in case You’d like to Magically Fix It for us, which we would Ever So Appreciate, and we promise we would never, ever, ever ask You for anything ever again, we swear, except for when we’re stuck in traffic and late for a job interview or have a kid who’s about to barf in which case we hope You’ll understand our change of heart.
It’s just, Jesus, we are Very Impatient and we Do Not Like Waiting for Things, and the latest turn of events around here has us feeling a little Shaken, and also Rattled, and, also-also, Uncomfortable — like, seriously — and we are Americans so we don’t like Any of Those Things and we’d like You to take them all away. Immediately, please, is the timeline we prefer.
Of course, we realize praying to You about this runs a certain risk because Your M.O. is less Wave the Magic Jesus Wand and more Do the Slow Work of Change in People’s Hearts so we’d like to specifically point out that we’re looking for the Wand Solution here, or, if You Absolutely Must, You may do a Quick and Swift Work in the Hearts of the Other People who are on Mr. Trump’s side and therefore Not Ours and therefore-therefore are Wrong and Mean-Hearted and Vicious and Unpleasant and Nasty whereas we are Right and Charitable and Kind and Compassionate which we are very certain is true because they are Big Bullies nevermind all the laughing we do about Mr. Trump’s hands.
Don’t, in other words, change Our Hearts. Just Theirs, please. That will be Very Good, and That is All.
Thank You and Amen.
Except we also pray for Mr. Trump because we’re supposed to pray for All the People and All the Things and All the Situations, and so, fine, we pray for Mr. Trump, too. Reluctantly, yes, but let’s count it anyway. We’ll work on “With Cheerful Hearts” later; we cross our hearts and hope to die and stick the needles in our eyes. OK? OK.
No? Not yet?
There’s restless wriggling in our hearts that tells us we’re not quite done.
So, fine again. We pray for Mr. Trump.
We pray for Mr. Trump in earnest this time because, against all evidence, we believe You when You said You made us all in Your Very Own Image and that we are meant to be Light Bearers and Love Bringers, even Mr. Trump, though we wonder just a little if maybe You Forgot about that Divine Image thing in him and also in Some Others We Could Name now and throughout history but won’t because we have the Fruit of the Spirit called Self Control.
We pray for Mr. Trump anyway.
We pray for Mr. Trump.
Now, yes; Mr. Trump proposed we ban our Muslim neighbors and also the Mexican ones and also-also says Unkind Things about Women and the Disabled and Prisoners of War, and yes, each of those Unkind Things is reprehensible and we are Against Them because we are Unrealistic Bleeding Hearts who’ve shared on our Facebook walls that we’d rather build Longer Tables than Higher Walls, but we pray for Mr. Trump.
And, yes, You told us to feed the Hungry and Welcome the Stranger and Clothe the Naked and Love our Neighbors as ourselves, and Mr. Trump runs counter to those things, and so we will Oppose Him Politically, but still, we pray for Mr. Trump.
OK, yes; Mr. Trump stokes Violence and Hatred and Exclusion and Unrest, and he’s OK bombing families with the Grandmas and the Widows and Young Men and the Smart Women Who Want to Go to School But Never Had the Chance and the Small Baby Children whose flesh will be torn apart before they’ve been allowed to Live and Love and Learn and Choose, and we will stand against that rhetoric and for Peace and Love and Inclusion and Places for the Weary to Lay Their Heads in Safety and Solace and Sanctuary, and still, we pray for Mr. Trump.
We pray for Mr. Trump. For a Change to His Heart because he needs it. And for Changes to Ours because we do, too, though it Pains us to Admit It.
We pray for Mr. Trump, although we sigh a little while we do it. And we pray for us because we have let Rage and Fear rule our hearts, too. Mr. Trump’s rage-making hasn’t just worked on his admirers and followers, after all; Mr. Trump has set the Fire of Rage burning in each of us so we are Aghast and Agog that he is leading in some polls, and we court the Despairing Idea that Our World is Irreparable, which is Untrue.
Our world can be helped, and, in fact, we are called to be its Helpers, and so we pray, in good Star Trek fashion, that You will Make It So.
And although we are Angry at the way our neighbors are treated, we pray for the kind of anger that champions them and drives us all toward Justice, Compassion, Kindness and Mercy. Make It So.
We confess that our fear and our forelornness at the State of American Politics — and our Dramatic Spiraling into the Hopeless Abyss with the backs of our hands on our foreheads and the occasional “Woe is Me” and “All is Lost” uttered from our lips — Isn’t Helpful and Doesn’t Improve Matters, and we pray that You will help us find the Path Forward to Heal Our Communities. Make It So.
Help us remember that raging against Trump isn’t action and that we must do Real Things for Real People if we want our World to Be Better. Make It So.
But also let us remember that Real Things are made up of Slews of Small Things and Tons of Tiny Things and Rarely Large Things, though occasionally those, too, so that we pursue all the Measures of Grace and Goodness instead of Just the Big Ones. Make It So.
Remind us to smile at children and at dogs, even the slobbery ones. Make It So.
And help us wave to the Strangers on the streets and say hello and wish good things upon them. Even the one that might be on drugs. And the guy who fumes about the kids on his lawn. And the lady who said the Mean Thing about our son. Especially them. Help us wave especially to them. Make It So.
Help us to be Kinder and Gentler with All the People, even ourselves who we seldom think deserve it. Make It So.
And especially help us Forgive ourselves and Be Charitable and Gracious when we forget All of These Things which we prayed So Fervently and meant So Wholeheartedly 17 minutes from now even though we are Very Well-Intentioned always unlike that guy who cut us off in traffic today, the scumbag. Make It So.
Amen. And Make It So.