Last night, I dreamt that I had a private meeting with Donald Trump.
(I also dreamt that I was in a cafe trying to tell liberals about the meeting but was interrupted and mocked every sentence of my telling – until I shamed them by angrily shouting, “How can you claim to be smart when you are so certain you know the point of my story without me having even told it?” Later in this part of the dream, after my cup of food had been delivered and I was trying to get a fork so I could eat it, I apologized to the group for losing my temper. )
Before the dream when I met with Trump, I sat nervously in a small anteroom wondering if I really even had an appointment, how it would go, and that it would be fine if he missed meeting me so he could meet with someone more important. But, I was my turn and I went in and sat in an upholstered armchair on his right. I started off telling him that I admired him. (While dreaming, apparently, I’m still lucid enough to know to lead with praise. Also, while not relevant to the telling of this story except to add detail, at the foot of my chair was an odd number of children’s shoes – left there for reasons I could not and cannot fathom.)
As he settled largely into his chair, our eyes met for a slight moment. Unplanned I said, “Mr. President, I’m scared.” Without hesitation, he responded with genuine emotion, “Yeah, I’m scared too.”
There was a pause. I felt him assessing where I was going.
“You’ve inherited a lot of problems,” I said sincerely, but not certain if I was talking about politics or otherwise.
“Yeah,” The Donald said, feeling met. “I don’t know what to do.” He trailed off seemingly assessing his options and then he continued “I have people to ask, but I’m not certain they know either.”
“For what it’s worth,” I said, “I’m sorry. And, I’m glad to help how I can.”
There was further conversation, perhaps, I am not able to recall it.
We both stood as it was time for me to leave. I found my bottom jaw quivering and I started to openly weep. I thought I could see him teary as well, but am not certain he was. He came over and gave me a quick hug, the kind that men give where the arm around the body doesn’t squeeze but rather burps the other person. An aide took a picture of us side by side – a picture I wish I had for proof it actually happened.
Jesus in the synoptic gospels is quoted as saying, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” (Ἀπόδοτε οὖν τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ). [Matthew 22:21]
Let us give to the president the things that he wants – some good press, flattery, and praise. Let us give to him and our country our taxes, gladly. And let us pray that the government like we do pays attention to help the neediest.
Let us give each other, let us give the neediest, let us give to God, let us give ourselves that which we deserve – vulnerability, respect, and love.
Pay your taxes and be loving.
“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”
You do not have to give your love to those you do not wish to.
That is your choice.