The lioness and her cub
I wasn't sure where or how I was going to start this blog because there have been many, many things going through my brain these past couple of weeks.
The picture above is of myself and my son Arif (also spelled Aref, Arabic: عارف). His name means "smart, wise" and in the Sufi philosophy his name also means mystic, "seeing the divine light everywhere". The reason that I bring this up is because when his head is shaved just like my husband, he is mistaken for being of Arabic descent.
Trayvon Martin was brutally attacked and murdered for what he appeared to be: a gangbanger or hoodlum; my son very easily could walk down the street especially as he gets older and be mistaken not only for a gangbanger but also for being Muslim.
A woman in San Diego was murdered for being Muslim, for wearing proudly her hijab, in her own home. When did clothes make us a target? When did common sense get tossed out of the window? When did those whose cultures are rich in ancestry, whose languages are musical and whose spirituality bonds them close to the Most High to the Divine suddenly become target practice to those who know and chose not to know nothing about themselves, their own culture or importantly opening their minds and hearts to learn about others?
The community walking for justice
After we gathered together at the table, we gathered outside as a community letting the wider community know as a visible sign we were not going to take it anymore. We are the symbol of the church, in hoodies, clericals and stoles walking and remembering those children who have been taken from us, from those who have been murdered for who they are.
Coming from the prayerful protests and immersed in ministry in Washington D.C. for Ecumenical Advocacy Days where we stood on the steps of the Supreme Court demanding and singing for the least of these, I can say that I am thankful and proud to be called a child of God, to be sent and called and for the ELCA who one of the many faith communities in Washington on the front lines fighting for social justice.
There are many who are rattled because we as seminarians take a stand against the "status quo" of the world and speak out, remembering Jesus' commandment to love one another. They frown because we are stepping outside the boundaries of their comfort zone.
You've called us to Seminary to become Pastors. We were sent by God. We have a mission to kick open the doors of the church. This isn't about academics and colorful, theological phrases.
This is about the Gospel. So get out of our way. A change is going to come.
Lape Bondye, God's Peace.