Trump and Tikkun Olam


Contemplative crafting: thinking and listening, pondering and praying, replying to Creation with creation, making stuff and making meaning – that’s the practice I am trying to develop and sustain.

But now I’ve done this – these pieces of … art? –  and I don’t understand what it means. I want to be able to explain it, but right now the work is coming from beyond a place of my knowing. I do know it has something to do with the fact that Trump is small and the God of my understanding is great. I know it has to do with the truth that love is greater than hate, or fear, or indifference. I know that it involves my wrestling with the fact – and for me it is a fact – that we are all, without exception, BELOVED children of God. Even Trump? What can that mean? I can not understand. I am repulsed and fascinated by the ugliness in his expressions, by his twisted face, by the evil gleam in his eye and the meanness on his lips. I can’t bear to look and I can’t look away, and I don’t know if the slathering on of love and welcome and blessing and peace makes any sense at all but I feel called – compelled – to do it. I do this as I remember the liturgy at my church and the calls to action there and in my community, as I listen to the no-good news and to podcasts about prayer and pain and peace. I slip back and forth on these snowy indoor days between snipping, assembling, gluing, rearranging and Google searches: Does God love Trump? Does God hate Trump? I ponder anew: Who is God? Who am I? What tiniest bit of Tikkun olam can I offer to this hurting world with my art and my prayers? I have questions, not answers, and for now, I only follow the compulsion to clip another word from the page – love, welcome, grace – and place it on the very source of all those words are not.