You are not alone and you are safe

I’d like to share a beautiful video of a girl called Rebekah.

 

Rebekah is a trans girl who wants other trans people to know that they are not alone and that they are safe.

And because I want people to know this too, I am sharing her story here.

But I am also preoccupied by something quite different, and all together sombre, because it is that time of year again. Next week marks the beginning of Holy Week, the last week of Jesus’ life on earth before his crucifixion.

On Monday Jesus visits friends. They are an unusual bunch, grown up siblings living together, none of them married – it would have seemed odder then than it does now. An invalid, an exhausted carer, and a woman who may have had mental health difficulties or learning disabilities. She sits by his feet, ignores protocols, ignores what needs doing, and wastes a year’s worth of wages pouring expensive perfume out on his feet.

Later that week, Jesus will go into the temple and do the unthinkable: turn over tables, assault businessmen, shout, cause chaos. All for the sake of reclaiming a space where the people could worship God. And surely realising that this does not come without consequences.

And soon he will eat his last meal, know he has been betrayed, go into a garden and pray that somehow he won’t have to through with it.

And then he will be taken away to die.

On Easter Sunday everything will be different, but it is not Easter yet. First, we will be  Holy Week people, watching with horror while things come crashing towards disaster. And this is where God meets us.

Life is unbearably hard sometimes. We all have bad days. Sometimes we have days that are so bad they leave us with a kind of PTSD. We have days when we can’t stop worrying about the future. We have days when we are furious about the injustice of it all. We have days when the world is not good enough – we are not good enough. Where is God? Why has he forsaken us?

Voices like Rebekah’s bring us back to reality, to hope, to belief that things can be better. She and her parents stand up, so that other trans people know they are not alone.  As the mother of a grown up trans daughter, of whom I am extraordinarily proud, I value this solidarity. I see its importance. We are part of a rainbow world, with much beauty and far too many tears, far too much intolerance, fear, ignorance and suspicion. We cannot expect it to change if we do not stand up and speak our truth.

Holy Week, is, of course, a promise that God walks with us in even the very darkest times of our lives. But it is also, perhaps, a reminder that we can in fact find him, everywhere and with all people. As we walk with him, meet his friends once more, ask the difficult questions that he was courageous enough to ask, we will find ourselves equipped to walk in this world in the confidence that we are not alone, that we are safe, and that life can be beautiful.

 

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