When I went out for my morning walk this morning, it was gray and drizzly. My street was full of trash, and as I looked down the road towards the neighborhood school, I saw leftover campaign signs from yesterday's election.
Sleep deprived as many, if not most Americans are this morning, the weather and the view on my street matched how I was feeling. Gloomy. Surrounded by garbage.
So I did my walking prayer. Thoughts rose to God: My anger and frustration that my home, the Rectory, seven months after the Tax Day Flood, had not yet commenced its restoration. My sadness for all people who are angry and afraid of what the future holds for them. I beseeched God for the strength, God's Strength alone, to help me lead the community entrusted to me to be instruments of reconciliation, peace, and Gospel living.
I prayed for our newly elected leaders and for all of those who had the courage to put themselves forth with unbelievable vulnerability and were not elected.
When I returned to my becoming less and less temporary home, I went indoors and put on my work gloves. I grabbed a trash bag and went back to the street. I picked up soiled sacks of MacDonald's waste, a Lone Star beer can, dirty napkins, a spent bottle rocket, and an empty Vodka bottle.
And I wrote a note to our newly elected president in my head:
Sir, you have vowed to unify our broken nation in your acceptance speech this morning.
As I write this, the majority of our American citizens who voted yesterday did not vote for you. Please know they will hold you to this early morning promise.
Meanwhile, this one chick priest is already picking up the trash and will continue to work for a country where we strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of human being.