I ate a quarter of a large Ledo’s olive pizza this morning. For breakfast. It was a meal with all the right pieces: carbohydrate, protein, vegetables.
I don’t always eat pizza for breakfast, but when I do, I wolf down a quarter of it, and then I tell myself it’s a meal with all the right pieces.
I eat a portion of a large olive pizza with the same two beloved ones about every 6-8 weeks. We go to the same restaurant, order the same pizza, and talk about what’s new.
This time, one of my meal-mates is dealing with post-funeral family drama. The other meal-mate and I are dealing with post-pet-loss grief. We’re all dealing with post-massacre fatigue and funk. And in all of this, our monthly pizza is a reliable comfort, something we can count on to be good to us.
Before I went out this morning, I spoke to a friend in East Africa. I wanted to know some of the ways they’ve practiced resilience in their life and the strategies they’ve come to rely on to help them bounce back from trauma.
They were a well of wisdom and I’m looking forward to sharing their comments at a presentation next month. What struck me as they spoke was how much they insist on moving through life as a whole person, not fragmented, not bifurcated into acceptable and not acceptable, but whole.
Then I came home from pizza and watched BET’s recent documentary on LGBTQ people and the U.S. Black church, Holler If You Hear Me. Person after person shares how their religious families, leaders, and congregations affirmed them as long as they’d submit to being broken into parts, acceptable and not acceptable.
Special music: acceptable. Capacity to love and be intimate: not acceptable.
This isn’t abundant life.
I know people of faith with a lot of conscience beginning to ask post-Orlando, “What’s our work in this moment?” I’ve already helped to write statements, and I see peers preparing sermons and litanies for the weekend’s services.
I get that work, and I’m also interested in us cooking up something less like pizza for breakfast, something less instant, less easy, and more fulfilling long-term.
Our work can’t just be about checking off the right “awareness” criteria, and it can’t be just about what’s comfortable, not this time: the lives of real people are at stake and so is the health of the communities we share.