I live in SE Michigan, on the border of Detroit. My little spot in the world has been in the news a lot this year, at least in the news in the USA. The presidential election put us in the spotlight as a “battleground” state that could determine the outcome. Then again when numerous requests were made to recount the ballots cast in the county I reside in. The governor of this state made news multiple times, sometimes touting her for her wise and fierce response to COVID-19, or often, criticizing her. Then when thirteen men were arrested by the FBI for plotting to kidnap and even kill the governor. Now we are in the news again as a state where one of the vaccines is being produced and shipped. I can think of so many avenues I could write about for this week’s The Pastoral is Political. And yet, my brain is exhausted, and I find that I am unable to develop a single thought into anything meaningful. In a country where production is valued, where hard is our motto, where there is never enough, perhaps the most political comment I can make today is, I want to rest in silence. 

It’s been a year in which I have been tested on just how adaptable I can be. Can I pivot this way? Wait! No! Can I pivot that way? Wait! No! Can I just suddenly figure something out on the fly? Now!? 

It’s been a year in which I have been tested to see how well I can manage my feelings, recognizing them, being informed by them, and applying my best thinking to respond and behave in relatively mature ways. 

I imagine it has been a year for you too, in similar ways to mine, and in other ways as well. 

It’s been a year when I feel like I cannot let up. I have to forge ahead on so many levels. 

And now. I think I have hit the wall. I’m done.

The most political thing I can do now, is work toward giving my heart and my head some time and space to rest. 

I want to paint. I want to read a novel, just for fun. I want sit by the fire and drink a cup of tea. I want to exercise and eat healthier. I want to find a little more balance in my life. I think I can do both, adapt to the seemingly endless demands of these times AND find some time to exercise, rest, and live a little healthier. 

I wonder, what is it that you need to do? Where could you use a little balancing? I hope that you are able to carve out a little time and space to acquire it. 

There’s a lot more work to be done. There is more that I can do to help bend the arc toward a more just and equitable world. And I will do my part. But for just a little while, I’m going to try and rest. 

As we come to the end of Advent, I hear Mary’s prayer, and remember that she too pondered all these things in her heart. Through all the days of life and her hard work as the Theotokos, even she must have taken a little time to rest. 

Spend a moment listening to this lovely rendition of the Magnificat. May you find some rest and then the strength to carry on.

The Rev. Terri C. Pilarski is an Episcopal priest serving a church in Dearborn, MI. She is a long time blogger (seekingauthenticvoice.blogspot.com) and member of the RevGalBlogPals since 2006.

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5 thoughts on “The Pastoral is Political

  1. Terri, even Jesus needed time to rest. I pray you can take a little time off after Christmas — my husband the Chief Videographer of Worship Services and I will — and do the things your heart is longing for. Prayers for you and for Michigan. I have been so distressed to see what all of you are going through.


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