As many of you have heard, I plan to spend my 4th of July walking around Lake Merritt seven times. My walk is a form of prayer and of protest, acknowledging the many ways the U.S. government is actively denying freedom and justice for large groups of people, even as we celebrate its promises to provide freedom and justice for all. There is a heaviness in my heart and a sickness in my stomach as I see the hypocrisy of our country’s actions (and inactions), and I feel the need to do something significant in prayer for, and in protest of, all that is going on.
I will walk a lap for the following groups:
- for migrants seeking safety, security and a better life
- for Black and Brown lives suffering from systemic racism and police brutality
- for Palestinians, Central Americans, and all in the international community seeking justice, equality and freedom
- for indigenous people seeking to protect and honor their sacred lands
- for the poor who seek shelter, food and good education
- for women everywhere seeking equality for themselves, freedom for their bodies and opportunities for their families
- for the earth, which cries out from exploitation
Walking won’t save our country, and that is not my goal. But Jesus did a lot of walking in his day, even as he carried with him the pain of so many in his own community. As he walked across the Judean countryside, he has sometimes been referred to as the Three Mile an Hour God – the Incarnate One who slowed down to the pace of humanity to connect deeply with all of us. This 4th of July, I feel the need to slow down myself, to walk at the pace of the Three Mile an Hour God, to pray and to protest, for the sake of my country.
If you’d like to join me for a lap, I plan to be near Cleveland Cascade at the top of each hour, beginning at 10 a.m. (You can call me to find out exactly where I’m at 510-306-0241.)
You can also join me from afar, in prayer for our country, protest against the ways in which it fails to live up to its ideals, and in commitment to live out our faith in God’s vision for our world.
May we who believe in freedom (and justice) not rest until it comes.
Peace to all,