Friday, December 5, 2014

New York Last Night: Protests- " I can't breathe, I can't breathe" by Denise Menard Davis, ARCWP

My dear sisters and brothers....
Oh how my heart aches today.... yearning to find words to express itself,
and so I share these with you. 
In today's reading from Isaiah, this is written: 
"He lays (the lofty city) low to the ground, 
casts it to the dust. 
The foot tramples it,
the feet of the poor,
the steps of the needy" (26:5-6). 

I heard those footsteps last night, the footsteps of protesters who 
marched down Broadway, chanting, "I can't breathe; I can't breathe," as they 
bemoaned the brokenness of our system, a system that allows unarmed Black men,
especially, to be killed by those ordered to protect, with no 
There I sat, along with the thousands of others in the apartments 
surrounding mine, safe and secure, unaffected - we assume - by that broken system.
Oh, we know it's wrong - and some of us even understand why "they" are so
upset, but yet, but yet.... "we" are safe. 

Today's Gospel might reveal how blind we are. From a selection taken from 
Matthew 7:21, 24-27, these were the words not included: "Not everyone who 
says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one 
who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 
'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your 
name, and do many deeds of power in your name?' Then I will declare to
them, 'I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.'" 

And what is that will of our beloved Creator? It seems that many in our 
midst do not know it.... 
And so I am reminded yet again how important our mission is.... and those 
of our sisters and brothers around us who also know, really know, our 
Beloved's will. Last night at Riverside Church as we ended our prayer service,
while holding candles and each others' hands we sang these words:
"I pray for you; you pray for me. I love you; I need you to survive." 
Yes, we need all to survive.... but this I will add: we need all to thrive
as well for only then will God's beauty in all truly shine forth...
Gratitude wells in me as I know once again that I am in the midst of 
people called to break through the oppression so many of us face in so many very
different ways.... 

Much peace to all.... denise 

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