As we head into this first week of Advent, we have become haunted by a mix of tragedy and terror. Just a block away a woman was raped and robbed at gunpoint as she was walking from her car to her doorstep late one night. This is extremely rare in our neighborhood. Many folks have lived here for decades and they can't recall anything of this scale of horror happening. Ever. The elders organized a candlelight vigil the next night. Forty people encircled the front yard. We stood in solidarity in the rain-drenched, 40-degree chill as prayers were offered and passions were unleashed: a mix of anger and grief.
The cloud of Ferguson continues to hang overhead. People of faith and conscience have been protesting and rallying there for more than 100 days now. There's an epidemic of young people of color getting killed by force.
Do we really believe that black lives matter just as much as white lives? It's a spiritual interrogation with Real life implications.On the flip side, Lindsay's mom, Nancy, joined us for Thanksgiving in the D. We walked through snow flurries to join Lydia, Erinn, Isaac, Lucy, Bill, Denise and Luke for a delicious meal and a round of one of Lindsay's favorite charades games: Celebrity! Kindness, gentleness, laughter and appreciation filled the house. Nancy joined us in the flow of life, at work, at church, at lunch, at play and even in our new tradition: no use of the heater while we sleep (it gets down to an average of 50 in the apartment through the night). Still 3 more weeks until winter officially begins!
Advent is a Time marked by anticipation and waiting for the Light that endures in the darkness. We summon the faith and courage to dare the dark. This is the path, with doubt and dismay around every corner, that leads to Life. And, 30 minutes later, the same soup kitchen guest that lamented about the Lady, was singing "My Girl" and dancing his way into this resilient season. In solidarity, let's join him in this Dance towards Justice.
Photos: Above, Lindsay & our friend Erinn heading to the Turkey Trot (temps in the 20s!); Below, The Heidelberg Project; and the Wednesday night lectio divina community