How big is your “all”?

This blog entry started out as a Facebook post, a response to a post which read (with some editing):

People with the privileges keep saying: “It’ll be OK!” “It is what it is now.” “Oh, well, better luck in four years.” “He’s our President now. It’s time to accept it.”

All my friends without those same privileges are saying: “Will my marriage stay legal?” “Are we safe?” “What will happen with my health care?””Will my trans child be safe at school?” “Will this increase the militarization of the police in my pre-dominantly black neighborhood?” “Will I still have sovereignty over my own body?” “Will my autistic black son be safe in public places?”

If you tell people to accept this and move on, your privilege is showing.


As one who has been privileged, so very privileged, I share this. I had a Sunday School teacher who would ask me “How big is your ‘all’?” She was talking about the concept of God as All-in-all, and she wanted me to recognize my individual infinite potential. As a white child from a prosperous upper middle class family, it was pretty darn easy to see a lot of possibilities. Even if I was limited by a 1960’s vision of women’s roles, the horizon for me and my desires stretched pretty far.

But I’ve grown to understand that it’s not all about me.  My concept of that “all” (the lower case part of the All-in-all) has to billow out, grow and stretch to cover the vast expanse of humanity, the earth, and the universe. I’ve discovered that the more I’ve recognized the existence of the challenged, the disadvantaged, the infinite variety of those other-than-me, the more my concept of the “All” part of the “All-in-all” has developed.

To widen our view of humanity and the world it inhabits is to see new aspects of the face of God. To belittle their existence diminishes our own potential.

My tendency over this whole election process has been to say “I love humanity, just not that man.” Watching Mr. Trump, listening to his speeches has evoked in me a visceral reaction, a bodily sensation of snakes in the stomach, a foreboding of evil to come. I have been repulsed by trolls, disheartened by friends who support him. I know who you are, even if you have not openly trumpeted your political leanings. You’re the ones talking about the weather and casseroles instead of mourning the end of the world. I’ve been caught up “with us or ag’in us.” I am tired of living like that.

I am surrounded by sisters in warrior mode. Oh, how much I love and respect you! I will march with you today, and my heart will be with you in the coming days on every battlefield you choose to fight on. But I know myself, and I cannot sustain a warrior mentality. No, I am not “getting over it.” I am not “moving on.” but the very term “resistance” implies that what we are resisting has power. “You belong to the power you acknowedge,” counseled the apostle Paul. I refuse to acknowledge the power of what Trump represents.

I have to go back to what my Sunday School teacher asked: “How big is my all?” And just how big is my All, the one with the capital A? What is that All?  I know that  All in all of us is Love. It has to be. For what other purpose are we here on the planet than to live that Love?

“There is nothing on earth that can withstand the power of Love. Whatever it is we are going through, whatever anyone has done to hurt us, it is a gift, an opportunity to learn how to love more, to learn more about love.” That’s what the priest in charge of the relics of Mary Magdalene told our group, when we visited the church built to honor her in St. Maximum Le Beaume in the summer of 2015.  So I choose love. I will find new ways of directing and reflecting its beam, new ways of reaching out, new ways to let people know they are safe. It will be my privilege.


2 responses to “How big is your “all”?

  1. Amen, Dear Sister-Friend!! I didn’t physically march today, but I’m writing a letter to Trump. His mass-condemnation of the “all” who have labored to make our world a better place in his Inauguration speech, was more than I choose to ignore or try to dismiss. A copy will be sent to many in Congress, as well. Enough!!!

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