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A Battered and Torn God (Orlando)


On the fifth day of my marathon through our events and activities around the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, I heard about Orlando. Still feeling connected in my final day of conference community, I processed with words and filled my personal Facebook feed with virtually non-stop posts for more than 24 hours.

When I stopped long enough to try to think what I might say as Executive Director of Transfaith, I had nothing. It's just too much to try to say all of the ways that this horrible violence intersects with the growing Transfaith community.

But this post from an old friend struck a nerve for me. I share it with Melissa Berkey-Gerard's permission.

On the way home from church, I told [my daughter] about the mass shooting. I told her it targeted queer people. She told me about the art piece she did in Sunday school, about peace. In the center, she put a ripped pink paper to represent "battered" God. She said every time there is violence or war, God gets battered, ripped a little with sadness. We both knew God was ripped and weeping today when so many beloved queer children were gunned down. Grateful for a faith community that rejects violence, homophobia and Islamophobia. Still feel helpless, but I know love is the way through.

Sometimes, being in community with one another means being brave enough to hold the sadness in our hearts and not shush it away.

Sometimes, it's enough to remember that when we are feeling battered and torn, we are not alone with those feelings.

Sometimes, there is nothing to do but sit down and weep for our ancestors and those who have gone on before us.

Sometimes, we would do well to remember to listen for wisdom from the children.

And tomorrow, we will begin again.

With gratitude for the many communities connected to Transfaith,

Chris Paige
Executive Director


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