God, I would like to pray for permission to hunker down, curl up in a ball, crawl back into bed, and hide under the covers on this dreary day. It is not just the rain and the cold. There is too much hate and anger and bull* to wade through in the world today. May I take a day to be away from it all, please? I am disappointed by the (lack of) ways in which we care for one another, and cynical about our collective ability to change. I confess that lately I have checked out from the rallies that fight fear and the petitions that seek greater justice, because I cannot see forward motion. A news report of recent anti-gay beatings was printed today in the local newspaper directly alongside a report on efforts to save the county’s Human Rights Commission from dissolution . . . and I pray, God, that you are seeing the irony and pain of this juxtaposition in newsprint. I would prefer to step away from the madness, just for today. Except that doing so, even for a day, isn’t really “checking out” . . . it’s choosing privilege: the privilege of disengaging when convenient, the privilege of remaining silent, the privilege of rationalizing that it’s not “my” fight, the privilege of crying in private instead of lamenting on the street corner. So I cannot pray for permission to separate myself today. Instead I pray for courage to connect. I pray for forgiveness for choosing privilege. I pray for strength to speak and stand and work and support and raise Cain even when the bad news pours down like rain.