You’ve officially been called upon.

I took a hiatus from Facebook and then the entire world went to shit. Like actually. I took a hiatus from Facebook to try to maintain my sanity and then Donald Fucking Trump got elected president. That actually happened. In some ways, Trump ruined my Facebook homecoming. I was going to be away for 60 days and then return to wanting fans and friends, drop some humor bomb about Hillary and pantsuits and my return to normalcy, and then continue with a life of subconscious, public narration. And the occasional joke. Because that’s my Facebook MO.

And then all this happened. Candidly, I haven’t really been able to fully return to the world of social media, save Instagram. The nice thing about Instagram is that someone has to be totally and outrageously racist or determined in order to politically offends me via photo. And even though those people do exist, I don’t, believe it or not, follow them. So when I need my social media fix, I scroll through a collection of food, flowers, and selfies and try not to think too hard about who anyone voted for.

The times that I have been able to scroll through my Facebook feed, I’ve seen a sea of frantic liberals. I’ve even seen a few frantic conservatives. I’ve read posts of friends who are signing petitions, joining marches, rioting, protesting, and some who have decided to pack all their shit up and move to some other country that isn’t even pretending to be a democracy. Because that’s better.

All this panic and urgency reminds me of going to Baptist school. In the hallowed halls (re: chapels) of a Baptist high school in Texas you get a lot of panic and urgency. Everyday is a sin-obstacle course whereby the finish line is being saved and the ultimate game over is getting hit by a car and dying before you’ve allowed Jesus into your heart as a your Lord and Savior. Because then you’d end up in hell. Hell is a strangely earth-like place with fire and, get this, an eternity without Jesus. (One might argue that going to a place where your punishment is an eternity without the thing you didn’t believe in to begin with isn’t exactly punishment, but I’ll add here that Mr. Clark was not one for logic and reason. He preferred a booming tenor and verses about fools and faith. But that’s another blog post.) But the asking of Jesus into your cardiovascular system isn’t the meal ticket. The real express train to salvation is being called upon.

Being called upon can take many forms, but the cornerstone of BCU is publicity. If others do not see you defend God/right the wrongs/throw rocks at the girl trying to have an abortion than it doesn’t count and you have to find another BCU. In Sunday school as a teen, there were 15 or so minutes each week dedicated to sharing stories of saving others or being called upon. A man in the Subway was drunk and you sat him down and told him about Jesus and bought him a sandwich. A man was persecuting Christians in a public forum (re: gas station bathroom) and you stood up to him and declared God the Savior of man. Or something. I frankly can’t even remember the exact details of these magnanimous faith acts from my youth. But they were important.

Being called upon was validating and important. If you weren’t proving your Christianity, there was a good chance it wasn’t real. God forbid you have a private relationship with an all-loving God. Your relationship with God would be weighed and measured by those on the outside and being called upon was the only true and indisputable badge.

And being called upon is not an inherently negative thing. In preparation for such a thing, we are… prepared. When we believe we will be called upon, we remain alert and attentive. We are more vigilant and observant. The rush of fear and passion and adrenaline that we feel in the moments before it’s clear we have been called upon is what propels us to success. Without it we are nothing. We have no momentum, no fuel.

The moment can be subtle. Sometimes arguable. Like the man at the Subway. Maybe he needed saving. Maybe he was just a lost frat boy who wandered off campus and really needed to pee. But other times the moment is not subtle at all. Sometimes the moment is so clear, so obvious, that you get all the way to the door to take up arms before realizing you have no pants on. In those moments, the most important thing to do is stop, breathe, and put your goddamned pants on. You’ve been called upon, but without your wits, you are useless to the cause.

There is no question but that we have been called upon. Not Christians by God, not liberals by democracy, nor women by equality. The “we” that I refer to is the collective peoples who have created an oft too silent army around the weaker, the lesser, the battered, and the bruised. Let there be no mistake that in these political times, at this particular moment, in this course of nature, we have been called upon. We are needed. But we are not needed scattered and erratic; we are not needed if we are weakened by fear or made volatile by anger. Fear and anger have allowed oppression to creep back into our narrative.

We are called upon to organize ourselves, to shield our neighbors, and to fight with actions, not rhetoric or retaliation. We cannot change the minds or hearts of a hurting nation with words that drip with menace and malice of the same tone but different tenor than what got us here.

Our laws govern us, but they do not define us. As the tide shifts to the right and our black, muslim, and gay friends, lovers, and family slowly lose their footing, we have to be prepared to define our own understanding of humanity and continue to fight for that understanding.

You have officially been called upon to defend.

You have officially been called upon to protect.

You have officially been called upon to shelter.

You have officially been called upon to stay focused, to not fall victim to distraction.

You have officially been called upon.

You have officially been called upon.

You have officially been called upon.

Now, let us rise. Let us, the popular vote, the compassionate peoples, the left with an eye on humanity compassion seek those on the right who want economic fairness that is not achieved at the expense of anyone, but rather by a rising tide that raises all ships.

We will not let a spark of hate ignite a system that has given us each lives beyond imagine. We will not sing a song of destruction and hate. We will reach out, we will grab hold of the hands that seek ours. And we will continue.

Because we have officially been called upon. And now we shall come.

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