Can this be happening? An inauguration like no other. With millions of citizens in the United States, as well as perhaps billions across the globe, I keep waiting to wake up from this nightmare. Hate was elected. Hard work was scorned. Lies were elevated to truth. Honesty was ridiculed. People voted against their own best interests. Deception and selfishness won. Fear won. Love lost.
But….It appears I’m awake, and slowly, I realize I’m not alone. God has ridden into the room on waves of heat rising from the wood stove. She’s materializing slowly. I see the luminous eyes first.
Right now, I’m happy to see God, no matter what the agenda or guise might be, but I’m especially overjoyed to see that She’s materializing as the large Black woman I’ve come to love so much. I know that soft lap and those protective arms. For the briefest moment, I think she’s here to comfort me in my abject despair, and I’m so relieved. I want to be her favorite. While I sit in her presence, I want her to stroke my hair and fix all the brokenness–mine and the world’s.
Usually, I snuggle right up. But as I take in the whole scene, there’s no way I’m crawling in, or anywhere near that Holiness. God hasn’t come alone. Squeezed in beside her on the couch, there’s a writhing snake, a belligerent bully, a snapping turtle, a stalking tiger, and she’s situated a frightened little boy on that lovely ample lap. She’s got a whole crowd of greedy, demanding brats stomping on her toes, a rat’s nest in her hair, and vultures circling. She has nails in her palms and a noose around her neck. The crowd is shouting that she should go back to wherever the hell she came from. They want a different God.
“Hello, God,” I whisper, trying to remember my manners despite the terror rising in my throat. “Do you want some tea or something?”
“That would be nice,” she says. “And bring a cup for the new president.” Though I would rather do almost anything else in the entire world, I know she means it. I am utterly enraged. I feel like joining the group near the fireplace chanting “Lock her up.” But I’m trapped in God’s gaze. This gaze is like nothing else. It is pure love. I bring two cups of tea, fighting the urge to put rat poison in one of them, and with a dramatic flair, I set them on the coffee table, spilling a little. I break off eye contact, back my way out of the room, up the stairs, and into bed. I get under the covers and sob until mercifully, I fall asleep and sink deep into the sleep of the dead.
When I awake, the world is trying its best to be beautiful, but I will have none of it. Both cups are empty, the room a wasteland. I clean up the chaos such as I can, but the stains on the new rug are better left alone. I tried bleach on one of them, but it left a thin white spot, devoid of color. It looked far worse than the bright red blood.