Last month the internet was abuzz with a trick that kids were playing on each other. The older sibling gathered around the entire family, placed a sheet over their younger sibling in a chair, and then said “TA-DA!” and everyone would pretend that now, the younger child was invisible.
Usually, the young child, once convinced they were invisible, didn’t giggle at the joke. They cried. They begged their parents and family – can’t you see me?
I didn’t expect the young child to cry. If I thought I was invisible, I would play pranks myself. Yet three videos in a row showed me the younger child was not enjoying the joke. Being seen is a basic human expectation. Knowing that we exist and that we matter are needs we are aware of from a very young age.
Perhaps that’s why nearly everyone I know watched the Supreme Court Hearings, as they watched them so many years ago with Anita Hill. People who have been assaulted and harassed are asking themselves – will I be seen? Will I be believed? Do I matter? Will there be any moments of morality?
I see you. I believe you. You matter. And while we may not be able to expect moments of morality or even lucidity from our politics right now, you can expect it from our congregation. We respond to each other in such a way that if the national news is making us relive our personal trauma, our community will comfort each other. If you are a survivor, know that our tradition believes in the inherent dignity of each person, what happened to you does not diminish your divinity or the love we bear for you. We believe and support survivors.
No matter what happens, we will be here for each other.
Rev. Shawna Foster