Fikre on Faith: On Being Chosen to Suffer and the Redemptive Power of Love

We live in a time of pervasive inequalities that are giving birth to unbending grievances. People who are hurting deeply are protesting on a daily basis seeking reprieve from unending struggles, yet the more we march in anger the further we walk away from justice. Unable to find relief from the unrelenting stresses of escalating bills and runaway inflation, lashing out has replaced civility as the new social norm.

In this zeitgeist of angst and antipathy, sadly, too many have been conditioned to bash others who are struggling just like them instead of focusing on the root cause of global suffering. Divide and conquer has morphed into incite and indenture as the few who have everything antagonize the many who have little to bash one another. Instead of uniting to bake our own pie, the “bottom 99%” fight over morsels and crumbs while the global plutocracy laugh at all of us.

I too once fell into this “us versus them” trap as I used to bash Republican voters and collectively judged white people for the ills of the world. It took two and a half years of homelessness and loneliness that manifested profound sorrow for me to shed the blinders of tribalism and realize that pains are universal. That is when I realized that the same identity politics that was leveraged by imperialists to colonize Africa in the past and is currently being deployed with lethal effect in my birth land Ethiopia to induce ethnic strife was being used right here in America.

We have a choice as a people, we can continue to be hoodwinked by demagogues who are being paid by the very system they pretend to rage against or we can do the opposite and truly seize our power. When we let grievance peddlers and gas-lighters deceive us into thinking that our foes are those who look or think differently even though they are being squeezed by the same pyramid scheme that is impoverishing humanity, we end up furthering the status quo. Only by forming a coalition of the marginalized supermajority of Americans can we defend our collective interests and start bending history towards the arc of justice.

It’s often said that to those for whom much is given, much is expected. That is true of the rich and that is also true of the dispossessed for suffering is a pathway to deliverance. God’s chosen people, in this way, are not people who are living high atop society but those who languish at the bottom. I believe we are at an inflection point in human history where we will finally be able to abandon rank self-pursuit and embrace collective wellness. If we are to do that, it will be those who bear the brunt of injustice who will lead the way towards redemption.

Though trouble comes by night, joy comes in the morning. This I know to be true but the only way we can see the new dawn is if we turn away from antipathy and embrace love. #Fikre4VA

I am running for Congress not to be a politician but to speak against the very politics that is shredding our country apart. I recorded this podcast below this morning to offer a different path than the road politicians on both sides of the aisles are leading us on. We can continue to throw bricks at each other and hurl insults as hobbies or we can choose the course of empathy, understanding and love to overcome evil. I am standing on the side of love and I pray that others join me so that we can change our government from one that pays virtue to greed and money to one that honors goodness and our common humanity.

“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.” ~ Psalm 71:20