We believe in the eventual victory of powerless love over loveless power.William Sloane Coffin
In these times, it’s difficult for those of us who are people of powerless love to sit and watch the cold triumph of so much loveless power in our world. We are faith leaders who work directly with people in our parishes, congregations, and communities. Our work gives us the gift of bearing witness to the stories of others. Whether we’ve faithfully served a community for many years or whether just beginning the path as a student minister like I am, we are all holding hundreds or even thousands of stories within us. While not all of them are ours to tell, each becomes a thread in a tapestry that weaves meaning from the experiences of our many different lives.
Those who joined together with Moral Movement Maine for a pray-in at Maine Senator Susan Collins’ office in Portland represent many faith traditions: United Methodist, Jewish, Unitarian Universalist, United Church of Christ, Buddhist, Quaker, American Baptist, Lutheran, and more. Our beliefs are not the same, but out of these diverse faith traditions comes a steady call: to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to affirm each person’s beauty, uniqueness, worth, and dignity as a child of God. And right now, to affirm each person’s worth, our faith calls us to speak up, to shout, to protest, to pray, and to resist boldly on behalf of our neighbors who stand to lose so much. Whether or not our vulnerable neighbors consider themselves people of faith, they are nevertheless our people. It is the stories of those neighbors who are suffering that call us to action: those who have become ill or died without being able to access adequate medical care; whose wages have remained stagnant as prices continue to soar, and who must work multiple jobs just to stay afloat; those who cannot afford to heat their homes during brutal Maine winters. The enemy of our people at this moment is the immoral and unjust Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017.
We in Maine watched in horror as Senator Collins voted yes on this bill in the Senate. We heard her defenses and her accounts of the work she did proposing amendments, and we know that the promises she is relying on from the White House and from Speaker McConnell are likely false. We arrived at her Portland office yesterday with the goal of hearing that she will oppose the bill in conference when it comes back to the Senate: in saying “no” to this bill, Senator Collins would in fact be saying “yes” to those Mainers who need the relief, the justice, and the compassion that the bill would deny them. We pledged to remain in her office bearing witness, singing, and praying that she might hear the call of Maine’s people and turn her heart. We were never alone in that room: with us were the vocal support and well-wishes of thousands of friends, colleagues, and the very neighbors we were called to advocate for and amplify. It is a profound gift to me to have begun my ministry with this act of moral resistance. Right now, the sense of peace and love I experienced occupying the Senator’s office, and being placed under arrest while advocating for justice for our people, calls me forth.
As we hold the stories of these friends and neighbors in our hearts and move forward after the December 7th arrest, still we pray that our people, those of powerless love, will achieve victory over the loveless power of this administration. We speak for the justice of God; we stand for the compassion of God; and with our actions and our speech, all of us who resist embody the love of God.
(This is the video NowThis Politics compiled from the arrest, and probably the most widely circulated my singing voice has ever been!)
Originally posted on Pantsuit Nation Facebook Page
Molly is in our MDiv program's Congregational Studies Seminar this year. She is interning at First Universalist Church of Auburn, Unitarian Universalist, in Auburn, Maine. She is an accomplished illustrator, as well as a wonderful writer.