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  • Kimberlee Runnion

I am not throwing away my shot!


I’ve officially jumped on the bandwagon – Hamilton is AMAZING! I’m so in love with the soundtrack that I bought it on CD the other day. My car has no way to play a mobile device through the speakers, so I’m stuck with using data on my phone (and hoping to hear above the road noise) or playing a CD, and this purchase was absolutely worth it! Every time I listen, I catch on to something new. It’s powerful, invigorating, devastating, and unapologetically hopeful. It’s everything I need right now. And in a weird way, it’s mirroring my experience over the last few years.

There’s a lyric that plays an important role throughout the musical: “Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now.” I’ve been pondering this line for the last week. The beautiful part about it is the way the emphasis changes throughout the story. It starts with “how lucky we are to be alive right now” and moves toward “how lucky we are to be alive right now.” In other words, “History is happening, and we get to be a part of it!!” becomes, “At least we’re still breathing,” as the war rages on.

How lucky we are to be alive right now:

As I’ve mentioned before, I attended the PC(USA) General Assembly in 2014, the year our denomination advanced marriage equality (it was ratified over the next few months). I often say that it felt like I was being welcomed home. I hadn’t attended church for quite a few years before that and started attending regularly just a few weeks after. I felt alive and invigorated.

And then marriage equality came to life nationwide, thanks to the Supreme Court. I had always hoped my grandchildren would get to see marriage equality, but instead, I got to be the one to call my grandma to celebrate over the phone. How lucky I am to have been alive for that moment in history!

How lucky we are to be alive right now:

Donald. Fucking. Trump. Do I even need to say more? 45 has turned our world upside down. The world feels more hateful, scarier. I am exhausted by the news. I am watching passionate people burn out. I am watching my Queer Family wither on the vine and (literally) die. But I’m still breathing, and that’s a celebration all on its own. How lucky I am to still be alive…

**

But I keep coming back to another idea. I’m addressing this to my Queer Community, particularly my Queer Family of Faith, but the rest of you should listen in.

Perhaps we aren’t the lucky ones. Perhaps the rest of the world is lucky that we’re here! We can show the world a hopeful future; we can show the world how creative God really is! You are here. You matter. You are valuable. God created you for this moment in history.

As I have been sitting with this idea, I got an e-mail with this article from Queer Theology that included the following:

Much of the Christian church has lost sight of the Jesus we see so clearly in Scripture. LGBTQ Christians have a critical role to play in reminding the Church about the good news of Jesus.

Our faith isn’t something that we can pay lip-service to because it is tested and questioned daily. It’s something we’ve had to cling to and fight for.

Our faith isn’t some thought exercise, it’s one we grapple with daily.

When Jesus talks about being rejected by his family and his hometown, we know that. When Jesus talks about religious services ringing hollow because justice is absent, we’ve experienced that. When Jesus asks forgiveness for those who crucify him, we’ve done that (over and over and over again).

Yes, how lucky we are to be alive right now, but how lucky the world is that we’re alive right now!

Hang in there, my friends. Hope be with you.


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