Listening to the Right Voices

The trainer I’ve been working with via web and phone works with all kinds of women. Some, like me, just want to be fit and healthy and feel our best. Others are in serious training for fitness competitions.  These ladies are hardcore, and they often get a lot of flack from family, friends and just random people about their choices. “Why are you spending so much time at the gym?” “Why would you want so many muscles?” “Is that the way you’re supposed to look?”

Trainer Valerie Solomon likes to remind her clients that many people are on their side. She tells them:


At the risk of sounding terribly trite in the wake of an unprecedented attack, I want my LGBTQ brothers and sisters to know that many people love and lift you up. I encourage you to listen to those voices.  I’m not suggesting that you can ignore the ugliness and the violence or the stupid and hurtful things that will be said and done in the days to follow. I am imploring you to be aware of the places and the people who shine light and love. To pay attention to those who lift you up. There are many.

I have been drawn back to the words comedian and accidental theologian Patton Oswald shared following the Boston Marathon bombing:

…the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So in the wake of the massacre in Orlando, when we are all hurt and angry and afraid, may we remember:

To seek justice and love kindness and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8)

To be angry and outraged, but not to become bitter (Ephesians 4:31)

That there are always more of those who are with us than those who are with them. (2 Kings 6:16)

We are never alone (Psalm 46:1)

To pray for those who wield any religion as a weapon. (No scripture reference. Just me.)

Most of all, may we remember that we, and everyone one we meet, is a beloved child of God…and then act accordingly.

–Rev. Anne Russ





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