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The Resistance Prays

November 29, 2018
By Rev. Posey Krakowsky

Today's Top Story

The New York Times reports this morning that Paul Manafort’s legal team has been passing information about the Mueller investigation to President Trump’s legal team as if they were still in a joint defense agreement. To continue to operate under a joint defense agreement after one party has entered a guilty plea is highly unusual. Any such agreement should have been abrogated between Manafort and Trump when Manafort took the plea deal with the Special Counsel.

In an accompanying New York Times opinion piece this morning, Cristian Farias of the editorial board says: “Michael Bromwich, a former inspector general at the Justice Department and a lawyer under Rudy Giuliani when Mr. Giuliani was the United States attorney in Manhattan, had this to say about the apparent Trump-Manafort arrangement behind Mr. Mueller’s back: “Giuliani would have torn up the plea agreement of any cooperator who was acting as a double agent and impaneled a grand jury to investigate the lawyers for obstructing the investigation.”

Manafort is playing both ends - entering a plea deal in order to get a lighter sentence from the special counsel, but also giving information to Trump in the hopes of securing a pardon. Lying and stealing and double crossing. Where (and when) does it end?

Scripture 

Abner sent word to the elders of Israel, saying, “For some time past you have been seeking David as king over you. Now then bring it about; for the Lord has promised David: Through my servant David I will save my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines, and from all their enemies.”

Abner also spoke directly to the Benjaminites; then Abner went to tell David at Hebron all that Israel and the whole house of Benjamin were ready to do. When Abner came with twenty men to David at Hebron, David made a feast for Abner and the men who were with him. Abner said to David, “Let me go and rally all Israel to my lord the king, in order that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may reign over all that your heart desires.” So David dismissed Abner, and he went away in peace.

Just then the servants of David arrived with Joab from a raid, bringing much spoil with them. But Abner was not with David at Hebron, for David had dismissed him, and he had gone away in peace. When Joab and all the army that was with him came, it was told Joab, “Abner son of Ner came to the king, and he has dismissed him, and he has gone away in peace.” Then Joab went to the king and said, “What have you done? Abner came to you; why did you dismiss him, so that he got away? You know that Abner son of Ner came to deceive you, and to learn your comings and goings and to learn all that you are doing.”  - 2 Samuel 3:17-25

That Noise? It's the Sound of Desperation

And desperate people do desperate things. I cannot help being struck today by the juxtaposition of two tales of desperation: first: the desperation of the people at our southern borders, legally asking for asylum as they flee from home environments that were rendered unlivable by destructive policies that the U.S. government aided and abetted. Desperation makes you pack up your elders and your kids and travel in a caravan of strangers in search of hope. Such a desperate journey isn’t something one undertakes on a whim or just for fun.

And in contrast: the desperation of criminals who double- and triple-cross each other (and the rest of us) in search of a way out. We will witness more and more of this as Mueller and his team continue to tighten the legal bindings around the Trump administration. We are moving closer and closer to the moment when we will see if our democratic rule of law will hold against the perfidy of the desperate and amoral members of this administration. The next few days may prove to be a crucial turning point, as Mueller’s team brings Manafort into court and we hear more details of the crimes and lies he has engaged in during his attempts to thwart the  special counsel’s investigation.

Act

I find hope daily in the collective power of so many of us who have stood up, held our ground, organized, marched, gotten out the vote, decided to run for office, raised awareness, had difficult conversations with relatives, made phone calls, texted, sent postcards, supported journalists, donated money, made plans to go to the border to help out, given pro bono hours to help reunite families, baked “retirement” cakes for House members….The list goes on and on. There is strength in numbers, and we do have them on our side. Each and every one of you is a blessing for which I am eternally grateful.

Keep on doing what you are doing. Each of us has a role to fulfill, and each of us knows ourselves well enough to know where, how and when we are going to do our best work in assisting our country survive this assault on our democracy. We don’t all have to be key players like Robert Mueller - but we do have to remember that this is our time, and this is our chance, and the future of our country is worth showing up for in whatever capacity we each can, no matter how big or small. Little by little, day by day, step by step. We are in this for the long haul. Take breaks when you need to, but don’t give up. We are all in this together, and there’s still a lot of road to travel. Bless you for all you do.

Pray
Hymn to Wisdom

My soul yearns for wisdom,
And beyond all else my heart longs for her.
She has walked through the depths of the abyss,
She has measured its boundaries;
For she was there from the beginning,
And apart from her, not one thing came to be.
She played before creation, when the world was made,
And in her hands are all things held together;
She danced upon the face of the deep,
And all that has breath is instinct with her life.
The mystery of creation is in her grasp,
Yet she delights to expound her ways.

In the streets of the city, wisdom is calling, 
And on the access roads she encounters those who pass;
At the gates of the camp she sings in triumph,
And in the law court she lifts up her voice.
With the timid and fearful she takes her stand,
And in the mouths of children she is heard to speak.
She cries out to the foolish to listen,
And the wise take heed to her words.
But among her own, she is not recognized,
And those who need her have thrust her out;
She has been pushed aside like the poor,
And broken like those of no account.

So she abandons those who are wise in their own sight,
But with all who are ready to receive her,
She makes a home.
For her delight is in the truth,
And she takes no pleasure in deceitful ways;
Her integrity is more to be desired than comfort,
And her discernment is more precious than security.
In her along is the life of humanity,
Therefore while I live I will search her out;
For whoever is fed by wisdom will never hunger,
And all who drink from her will never thirst again.

Janet Morley, All Desires Known (New York: Morehouse Publishing, 1988, page 55)
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