by Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell

History will remember January 6, 2021 as an unforgettable day in the United States of America.  Millions of us were glued to the television trying to understand what was or what was not happening. I have been in many conversations where people were asked to share the first word that came to mind as the news of the attack on the U.S. Capitol flooded the airways. The frequency of these words is noteworthy.

No single word can capture the collective dismay and grief so many of us are experiencing.  Even as a woman of faith, I am having a challenging time trying to find the right words to say to help myself and others move forward. In ministry, I have learned there is value in allowing those who endured traumatic events to have some time to sit with their issues. There are times that a listening ear is the best medicine. There are times when a tissue to wipe a tear is the best gift. There are times that silence works for a little while knowing that in due season, God will grant us the peace that surpasses understanding.  This kind of peace doesn’t mean the absence of problems but rather the ability to do whatever we need to do knowing that God is with us. 

My prayer is that we will put our faith into action. If we start our shared story with just the events of 2020, we experienced so much that reveals that the scourge of systemic racism is still alive in our nation. People who might never read a book about slavery, the Civil Rights or Black Lives Movement, or use the term “critical race theory” have been exposed to some of the horrific manifestations of racial hatred. Naming “systemic racism” is essential to creating the systemic changes needed to move in the direction of healing the soul of our nation.

When we look back at some of the most troubling moments and movements in history, we are reminded that those crises presented new opportunities for transformation. The name of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is invoked by so many as the dreamer, a civil rights leader who lost his life in the fight for equality and justice. We are encouraged knowing that his living was not in vain. And so as unforgettable as the attack on US Capitol will be, let’s not forget to remember the progress that was made. There was some light in the midst of the darkness. Our Congressional leaders did not allow the terror of the day to keep them from performing their duty to claim victory by counting the electoral votes by night which prepared the way for the transition of power to President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. We must not forget the historic election of Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the United States Senate. Each and every one of us who professes Christ as Lord and Savior, has the opportunity to find our voices, understand the issues, speak out against injustice and to keep believing in the dream. I pray we make that work unforgettable.

Dear God, We need you right now. We do not even have the vocabulary to adequately express how we feel right now. Some of us haven’t turned to You yet because we don’t understand why life flows the way it does. The words of prayer from my childhood help to keep me when I don’t know what to do or say. God is in me. God is with me, God is for me, God works through, and where God is, God always wins in the end.

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