Giving Thanks for The Fighters

These are days when gratitude might not come easy.

It’s tempting to scan the horizon each morning and to let your gaze rest and fix solely on the things that burden us; on the sorrow-bringers and the treachery they manufacture, on the terror we are daily surrounded by because of their seemingly boundless contempt for life.

We can easily allow the perpetual, urgent storm of darkness they manufacture to obscure the light from view, to fool us into believing that the night has fallen on our best days.

But this would be a mistake.

It would be playing right into the hands of the sorrow-bringers. To lose hope now would be to consent fully to them and their designs—and so we cannot.

For this reason, it is a life-sustaining, hope-preserving act to take our eyes off the sorrow-bringers and to let ourselves dwell on those people who resist the despair, those who wield light in these black days, those who still walk defiantly in love.

Today I am dwelling on them.

Today I am giving thanks for the fighters.

I am giving thanks for the ordinary activists who are living intentionally, joyfully, and beautifully in days when such things are most difficult—for the people who will not genuflect to inhumanity simply because it has power and demands that we kneel. 

I am stopping to let my mind hole up inside gratitude for a while; to find rest in the knowledge that good people still inhabit this place; that a massive, disparate swath of humanity still wakes up everyday looking to do no harm, seeking to be decent.

I am giving thanks for the rabble-rousers and the troublemakers who serve as a thorn in the side of the sorrow-bringers; those who confound and exasperate and pushback when human dignity is assailed. 

Today I shout a grateful amen for those who boldly raise a middle finger to the hateful parade as it passes by; the people who will not be bullied into giving up on love for our neighbor as the greatest endeavor of this life.

Today I give thanks for the fighters;
for those speaking up for the first time,
for those speaking up for the ten thousandth time,
for those losing longtime friends to defend a stranger’s life,
for those leaving churches where love no longer lives,
for those saying “me too,” and dragging their damagers out into the light,
for those calling out racism across the dinner table,
for those calling out bigotry in their workplaces,
for those calling their public servants to actually serve the public,
for those calling bullshit on a President who demonizes Muslims and brown people,
for those who see a stranger’s children as worthy of protection as their own,
for those giving up sleep and comfort and compromise, so that someone else might be shielded from the sorrow-bringers.

In days when gratitude does not come easy, it is an ever greater priority to nurture it.

Today, I’m thankful for every human being who boldly resists the madman, his minions, and his sycophants; all those committed to equality, diversity, compassion, love, and justice—and who will not relent.

And come to think of it, maybe seeing this bold, defiant army coming in love on behalf of others every single day, should make gratitude come easy.  It should make thankfulness our default setting.

Maybe this truth, is what the sorrow-bringers most want to hide from us.

Thank God for the fighters who let us see the light again.

 

 

19 thoughts on “Giving Thanks for The Fighters

  1. I am 73 and last December I attended my first protest. That was the day of the electoral college vote. Nothing came of it but I did discover that something was better than nothing. In January I joined my local Indivisible group and over time evolved into the protest photographer. Last week we protested the repeal of the Antiquities Act which could allow logging in Muir Woods and mining at the Grand Canyon. Yesterday we protested at Jeff Flakes office appealing to him to vote “No” on this zombie budget. Last night, before heading for bed, I read that Lisa Murkowski has caved and will vote yes on this budget which will allow drilling of the arctic in Alaska. To say that my chin was on the floor this AM is an understatement. Then I read your essay. Thanks. I needed a good cry.

  2. I must agree it does spark an emotion when, on a daily basis, legions of journalists, bloggers and Establishment politicians heap scorn, hate and unwarranted crimes upon …
    “the madman, his minions, and his sycophants.”

    Every.
    Single.
    Day.

    To attack President Trump aka ’45’ is to stand with the Hordes at the gate wanting to batter the foundations of this Republic down.

    A year later …
    And it turns out Evil Ole Trump DID NOT grab any one’s P***Y, but Liberal Progressive Champion and Senator Al Franken did grab some ladies A**.

    There is still NO DEFINITIVE PROOF Trump has ties to Russia … though every few days more ‘facts’ appear only to be retracted quietly a few days later then be replaced by other facts … which turn out to be mistakes as well and are quietly retracted … only to be followed by … and the pattern continues.

    Some Congress-folk want to impeach President Trump because … it turns out they have no actual legal reason for wanting to inflict upon this Democratic Republic one of its most terrible tribulations … instead it is only just because they don’t like Trump.
    And millions agree with them.

    These ‘fighters’ aren’t all heroes. Many would happily rather push this country into a 2nd Civil War than tolerate Trump … cause he’s evil? Seriously? That’s your excuse for not waiting like any sane individual for THREE MORE YEARS and simply vote him out of office?

    See, in this political theater, you are not the Abolitionists, you are the Slave-holders. You would rather rend the Union than suffer a temporary defeat to a legal construct you hold dear. You have never, ever considered compromise. It has had to be your way ~ to overturn the electoral process we have all grudgingly accepted with for 150 years ~ or destruction of said honest and open victors of that electoral process (iow, the Mafia, or the Russians didn’t buy votes, or bury ballots – every legal ballot was counted).

    These fighters aren’t ‘the brave’. They have allies everywhere. People don’t get fired for being anti-Trump. They get fired for wearing MAGA gear though. There is nothing outstanding about this ‘Resistance’. All sycophants have long since fled the Trump camp it, has become so unpopular. Only the courageous remain.

    • You spent a lot of time on this drivel, defending the indefensible. Those of us who stood up in the 60’s and 70’s against oppression learned one very important thing. Protest changes public opinion and public opinion changes government. We will stand on your shoulders as you sink into the quagmire of your own making. You’ll be our traction to drive this republic out of the hands of a corrupt and fascist regime. Just watch 🙂

    • There is no more unpatriotic act any American can do than to support this atrocity of a president in his efforts to destroy everything that is noble or just about this country. The dumbest, most corrupt, most incompetent, most childish, and least patriotic person to ever hold political office. As the enourmous amount of evidence mounts of his conspiracy with Russia and when Flynn and soon Kushner and Donnie Jr get indicted, you and your gullible ilk will still have your heads buried in the sand. May you one day wake up but I won’t hold my breath.

  3. … and a whole heapin’ bunch of us are grateful for you, John, for the gifts you bring with every one of your posts. Such gifts they are, too … balm for our aching hearts, “caffeine for the spirit” when we are so tired of the numbing grind, a high-beam light when we feel that the world has gone completely dark, and, sometimes, a whole one-man pep rally encouraging us to ‘Fight!Fight!Fight!’.
    I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with grace and peace. The world will be right here carrying on, I imagine, so enjoy your family and friends. And now, the kitchen awaits!

  4. I’m thankful for the Democrats who realize they lost fair and square and are respectful of the rule of law and are giving Trump his opportunity to make America great again. I’m thankful to them for being good sports about it and waiting until their next opportunity, and are not endlessly wringing their hands, howling at the moon, or otherwise “resisting” by demonizing the President and those who support him. I haven’t met any of them yet, and don’t know if they exist, but if they do, “thank you.”

    • I am thankful for people, especially Republicans, that realize that extreme factions, fear mongering, and the rhetoric of violence cripples and kills Democratic Republics. Democratic Republics are a fragile beast and the current political situation can bring ours down quickly.

    • Joe, you do have the gift of irony.

      You purposely demonize every single person who you call pro-abortion. It never was and never will be a thing. I and so many others do not deserve that made up label. I wouldn’t presume to tell anyone what they could or could not do with their body. I wouldn’t even do that to my husband and I know his story.

      Maybe you can start working on why here in American more women are dying from child birth while emergency rooms are getting better at treating gunshot wounds. Doesn’t sound like a whole lot of pro life going on.

      Peace

  5. May God richly bless you and continue to give you the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, and prophecy for His people! You are a voice that speaks to and for me in your writings and I give thanks when I read “What Needs to be Said!”

  6. Thank you for this beautiful reminder that yes, even in these dark days, the majority of people are just regular folks intending no harm and often even doing good. It is tempting to lose hope as we see the flames of hatred fanned by someone who should be a leader, a uniter. But I am so, so thankful for the resisters, the fighters, those who fight bigotry and hatred even when it starts to look like a lost cause. It is not a lost cause. The fighters for justice, for love, for equality will win. We do many times a day when those ordinary folks help a neighbor who may not look like them or speak out against hatred. Happy Thanksgiving to you for reminding us of the good in the world and to all.

  7. Because the Love of Jesus Christ has set us free
    live like we are free from the bondage sin.
    Free From Hate,
    Free from others bad leadership
    Free to make our own choice s and not swayed by others bad choices
    Jesus had every right to make this statement. Jesus believed all the right things, and He had stronger faith and loved God more than you and I will ever be able to. Still, soon after making this statement, Jesus was arrested and nailed to a cross.

    Faith, belief, and love do not buffer or barricade your life from trouble and hardship. In fact, sometimes it feels like having faith and doing the right things can attract trouble.

    I want to address the dragon that I most often see hunting the people around me: depression. This includes both the deep blues anyone can feel and the diagnosable imbalance that plagues so many. No one asks for this dragon, but he swallows up many people regardless. This dragon is big, heavy, overwhelming, and he has the potential to crush, suffocate, and swallow you up. This dragon doesn’t create bad days or bad weeks. He creates bad childhoods, bad decades, and bad lives. On and on, day after day, year after year, this dragon causes pain with no relief in sight.
    Jesus is the Only Real Peace
    Live , Love , Long for his return and Enjoy Peace from the holy spirit in the midst of hardship and heart ach

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