Monday, January 23, 2017

why I marched: baptism, compassion, and justice

Women's March, Boston Common 1-21-17

From our baptismal service:

CelebrantWill you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving
your neighbor as yourself?
PeopleI will, with God's help.
CelebrantWill you strive for justice and peace among all
people, and respect the dignity of every human
PeopleI will, with God's help.

-- Book of Common Prayer p. 305 (or

This looks different over time - indeed, day by day. This year brings me a new way of living it out.

I made a few hats, too. (None of these, though.)

When was I last in a march, I wonder?

I recall a candlelight vigil with the sisters in 2003 in hopes of staving off another invasion of Iraq.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1

I recall a demonstration against apartheid when I was in college. I skipped psych class (and I wasn't a class skipper) to stand with others near the shanty town built next to the Beinecke Library. We were so excited when Archbishop Desmond Tutu sent us a word! I found some old pictures online, as a matter of fact, and am grateful to the alum who shared them:

I recall a Take Back the Night march in Ann Arbor, MI a year or two earlier. Looked online and found that the organization still exists ( As a signboard I read this weekend phrased it, "I can't believe I'm still protesting this ----." OK, I can believe it. I just wish I couldn't.

Mostly, however, I've written and called my representatives, signed petitions, and learned - too slowly - to speak up instead of smoothing things over that really needed not to be smoothed over at all.

Sometimes you need to make noise.
Boston Public Garden 1-21-17

I wonder if that is changing.

Yes. Yes, it is.
Let's make it better.

Boston Common 1-21-17

What will this year bring?

more of this? more than this, certainly

Yes, we can. Together. All of us.

Snowflakes, unite!

If I am going to live the promises I made in my baptism alongside my community's historical concern for women and children, it seems to me that more may be required in the days ahead.

I might note that there were quite a few concerns expressed Saturday, climate change among them. I am beginning to learn more about that, too.

Talk about something that will affect us all, or at least anyone who is going to live a while longer. I plan to.

Marching. Praying. Writing. Calling. Networking. Listening. More listening. Reading. More praying. Work I can't yet envision. Prayer that is listening and listening that is prayer moving into action.

Jesus may be calling me out of my sycamore tree.
(A sycamore tree would have been very handy on the Common on Saturday. Some of us are too short to see over 175,000 people. However, all the good trees were taken, as you can see.)

I will, with God's help.

Join me?

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