I am a distracted yogi.
Recently while I was sweating my way through a 60 minute hot yoga class appropriately called Fire I realized just un-centered I am. There we were too many of us crammed into the small room because the large room is out of order (they say this should only be a short term inconvenience, but I’m a habitual doubter these days so I imagine this to be more like a long-term tactic to get us acclimated to accepting inferior facilities). We were only a few poses into our standing sequence when I felt a drop of sweat land on my right foot. It was not mine. Now, how was I to maintain my focus on breathing when someone else had violated my space? It took me at least three subsequent poses to regain calm serenity when it happened again, this time on my arm despite my earnest efforts to stay squarely on my mat.
Well, that was the end of my positive attitude—and the beginning of my epiphany that I need to do a fair bit of mental recalibrating in order to overcome my selfish desire for unencumbered yoga.
Truthfully, though, yoga is hardly my biggest problem right now.
Like many, I am devastated by the election of Donald Trump as our president-elect and even a week removed from Terrible Tuesday, I am struggling to find even the smallest ray of hope. Heck, I’d even settle for a momentary glimpse of something good. Now, I have no intention of speaking on behalf of all followers of Jesus (of which I strive to be one). All I can do is try to examine and share why I feel like someone has ripped my heart out and hung it around my neck as an albatross.
If there is any recurring theme in the Bible it is that I am my neighbor’s keeper, that we are called to be in solidarity with others. Jesus showed us what this means in how he treated people, especially those on the margins of society. Too, when the early Jesus followers gathered together, they shared all they had, looking out most intentionally for those in their midst who had the least. You see, the Roman Empire at the time had gained its wealth through oppressive systems that fed the coffers of the rich while disregarding the lives of the poor. Those who aligned themselves with Jesus were willing to live differently, to stand against the ruling elite and in solidarity with each other. Sometimes this cost them a lot, even death.
When Donald Trump was elected as our next president—supported in large part by well-meaning Christians who take their faith seriously—it indicated that we have lost this plot.
We cannot explain away someone whose words and actions are racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, and downright cruel toward those with disabilities. The Bible says that we know the commitments of someone by the fruit they bear. What fruit has Donald Trump produced that is anything but self-serving and motivated by power and wealth?
The contrast between these worldviews could not be more stark.
I guess we just weren’t ready to share each other’s sweat yet. I can only hope it was just a momentary lack of focus.