Blue lives matter, black lives matter, LGBTQ lives matter, but what about Melania Trump, does her life matter too?
Our media has analyzed everything from her choice of words, to her choice of clothing to her alleged college degree. It seems as if the hounds have been released to attack this woman of stunning beauty, multiple languages, business acumen and incredible speaking skills. While most journalists and analysts agree that there were, in fact, words and themes lifted from Michelle Obama’s speech, now the question is, so what? Are we to burn her at the stake for her unorthodox behavior, putting the freedom fighting words of the Democratic Party to work for the Republican Party? Offending the standards of our national morality….uh…whatever that is?
I wonder if the lives of women who have made something of themselves in the world matter, too, regardless of status, beauty, nationality, color or spouse. America has unleashed the hounds of hell on Melania and it is a difficult thing to watch. It reminds me of the Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials and all the ways in which we punish those women who offend our highest ideals of who we are, even though we can’t seem to live up to them ourselves.
Jesus said to the mob gathered to stone the woman caught in adultery, “you who are without sin, cast the first stone.” He was good at bursting the bubble of mob mentality.
It is clear from my blog that I am not a fan of Trump’s methods, in fact, I wrote about his persona as a Trickster character, bringing out the shadow side in all of us so that we can see the darker aspects of our personalities for what they really are. His tactics bring out the worst in us and I write that this is actually a gift, because it enables us to have the conversations we’ve refused to have, to begin to work through some of our ways of behaving that seek punishment and retribution over forgiveness and love. The article speaks to some of our deeply held core beliefs about women, beliefs that reinforce the statistics of violence against women. Trump seems to bring out the worst in all of us, including his very own family.
If anything, a refreshing response to Melania’s speech would be to offer her refuge from the storm, to grant her the freedom to “go and sin no more,” so to speak.
We seem to be obsessed with living a life that matters, and in this obsession, we put everyone on the stand who seems to stand in the way. But are we willing to explore the realms within us and with others where mattering occurs? What makes a life matter is not achievement, fame, fortune, wealth, popularity or beauty. The hyper focus on these things in our world, played out in the example of Donald Trump, gives us a sense of importance and maybe even power, (and in Trump’s shadow, humiliation) but it’s not the same thing as having a life that matters. The way in which you can live a life that matters, in other words, feel as if your spirit is being transferred into matter over the course of your lifetime, (what we as Christians call the twice born soul, the second birth), is by walking away from a life controlled by dominance and transferring your life into love, the being and doing of love in the world.
There are many creative ways in which this is done, artists do it through creation, teachers with their students, engineers with projects that enable humans to live better lives, people who decide to invest their hearts in communities of diversity, and on and on. The reality is, it cannot be done alone and there is simply no one “right” way to love, but it must be done with others, you need others to help you create a life that matters.
It is the giving and the receiving of love in its many forms that turns your life into something that feels like matter in the larger world.
We all have the opportunity to live lives that truly matter, to walk away from those areas of our lives that make us feel as if we don’t matter and move toward the people, places and things that help us transfer our love into the world.
Rev. Sherry Cothran is the pastor at St. John’s West UMC, Nashville, TN, a writer, musician, speaker and Co-Founder of Dreamweave: Transforming the Lives of Incarcerated Women Through Social Enterprise.
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