The Unbearable Heaviness of Right Now

Sometimes I feel like the weight of all the badness in the world is crushing me.

This is unusual for me. I would characterize myself as joyful much of the time. But sometimes…it just all adds up, and I feel like I can’t breathe.

Police shootings of unresisting black men. Climate change, and scores of wild animals dying because of it. What’s happening in Syria. GOP-led voter suppression. And now Donald Trump, who I fear will make all of these things worse through some combination of malice or unconcern. And, oh yeah, the significant rise in hate crimes since he was elected president.


I’m all up in my feelings right now. I was reading this poem to Jonah tonight, and I about lost it:

Dear Father, hear and bless

Thy beasts and singing birds.

And guard with tenderness

Small things that have no words.

I believe it’s more important than ever to pay attention to what is happening, (plus I’m a news junkie anyway) but I think reading ALL of the news coverage of Donald Trump’s transition team, Steve Bannon, etc. is starting to get to me. If I keep gorging myself on all the badness I won’t be able to function. I need to feel like I am doing something on a larger scale to help make things better.

So here’s what I’ve done so far to be productive and “fight back” post-election:

  • Donated and joined the ACLU to help protect human rights and free speech during a Trump presidency (they have a focus on immigrants’ rights)
  • Donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center to combat hate and intolerance (they also focus on immigrants’ rights)
  • Signed up to donate monthly to the World Wildlife Fund to fight climate change and protect animal habitats
  • Asked for a Slate Plus membership for Christmas to support free speech and quality, independent journalism that holds Donald Trump accountable

I should have been contributing to charity before now. We didn’t really have the resources to do so until very recently with our move to Atlanta, but really I selfishly was loath to part with what I saw as “my” hard-earned money. God forgive me.

This isn’t much, but it’s a start. Next up is writing to my representatives in Congress, as as promised. I plan to start those letters by introducing myself, and saying, “Expect to hear a lot from me over the next four years.”

What are you doing to contribute positively since the election?

3 thoughts on “The Unbearable Heaviness of Right Now

  1. Thank you Holly for your interesting post at Patheos, and this blog. I am reminded of a song by Michael Card from long ago, the lyrics of which included the following words:

    “…-why did there have to be thorny
    Crown pressed upon His head?
    It should have been the royal one
    Made of jewels and gold instead.
    It had to be a crown of thorns
    Because in this life that we live,
    For all who seek to love
    A thorn is all the world has to give”
    The election result is a thicket of thorns that has grown around the heart of American society: but these thorns are evidence that the way of Christ is true. If the world’s stupidities seem to triumph for a while, take heart, for these very stupidities of politicians show us that Christ’s kingdom is not of this world, and His kingdom will strengthen in the hearts of those who belong to Him. I do not mean to suggest we should withdraw – far from it! But like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Nikolai Berdyaev we understand that the kingdoms of men are wretched and false.
    Obama’s words at the beginning of his campaign are no less true now: Yes We Can!

    My prayers eith you, from Johannesburg.


  2. Hi Scott,
    Thanks for reading, and thanks for the encouragement. I am currently trying to find the appropriate balance between engaging and withdrawing. It’s a tough one. Blessings to you!


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