Begats …

The Bible inventories the lineage
of things
ranging up and down the line,
parent and child,
naming the way hope is passed on,
because no matter how difficult life can be
we claim there’s birth
and that it is always stronger.

Begats of last weeks elections
sound like this …
Wilmot Collins, Liberian refugee,
first black man elected mayor
of Helena, Montana
begat a new beginning.

Danica Roem of Virginia,
first openly transgender woman
elected to state legislature
begat welcome across gender identity.

And America’s first African American
transgender woman
to win a council seat in a major city,
Andrea Jenkins in Minneapolis,
begat a new courage
this last year could not quench.

And Jenny Durkan,
Seattle, Washington’s
first openly lesbian mayor,
Vi Lyles, Charlotte, North Carolina’s
first African American woman mayor,
Melvin Carter,
St. Paul, Minnesota’s
first African American mayor,
and Ravi Bhalla,
Hoboken, New Jersey’s
first turban wearing Sikh,

are begetting hope in any city, every city
where claiming
liberty and justice for all
has seemed an uphill walk.

Virginia’s first Latinas in the statehouse
Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala,
and the first Asian American woman there,
Kathy Tran,
begat a translation of equality.

Begats sounds a lot like
the first chapter of Matthew,
where the gospel
tries to share where Jesus came from.
It is the same –
because it reminds us God
works through a lot of humans
with a number of them
unexpected in polite company …

this vote here,
that person willing to run for office
and the unexpected manger
of an off-year election.

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