If you can cast a shadow—be it your hand on the wall of your imprisonment or your body along the sidewalk you navigate—there is light. Shadow is not possible without light.
We are living in dark days, our country unraveled from former notions of democracy and human rights. We separate children from mothers and fathers at the borderlands while our highest officials quote from holy scripture to defend the profane and hideous. Shadowland and shadows everywhere.
The maelstrom of heated rhetoric, a firestorm of disunion and civil war, sends sheets of flame across newspaper, social media and congress. We cannot seem to enter any conversation anywhere—homes, offices, churches—without the pollution of smoked and incendiary speech. Where is peace? Where the words of grace and inclusion?
I sat in a church this last Sunday, Westminster Presbyterian Church in SW DC, along with members of my church, Riverside Baptist Church, and we sang sweet words of sacred timbre; we prayed words in fervent desire for healing and repair of our lives; we read ancient texts devoted to the Holy; listened to a proclaimer of scripture remind us of faithfulness and a heart of obedience; we shared food at table and we embraced one another. It was a luminous beehive of peace and justice. We were radiant and because there is Light, we can see light. And yes, there are shadows in this shadowland of what used to be a beacon of freedom and light called America. Just remember: if you can cast a shadow, there must be light.
I hope to you see you this coming Sunday at Westminster [400 I St.] where two churches dedicated to light and peace and justice meet. 11 a.m. Beloved: Sing. Pray. Be the beloved community.