December 22: Do Not Be Afraid
“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid” – Frederick Buechner
In Charlottesville, VA on the afternoon hundreds of angry young men marched through the streets, I understood the words of the heavenly messenger to Mary like never before. Fear in the face of armed racists of every stripe seemed like the natural response. There were so many of them – carrying flags and shields – shouting Nazi slogans in the streets of this college town that morning.
But there were also more than enough Episcopalians there to pray. They came from all over Virginia – and started marching in a parking lot across from an office supply store. These marchers were not experienced activist, just lay folk and clergy who decide to face into the presence of fear and hate.
We were all a little afraid at first, but as our march wound through the empty city streets and up to a small hill-top park, there was a spirit of something greater than fear surrounding us.
Yes, there might still be shouting and fist waving down in the streets, but on that hill what caught the eye was the Bishop’s purple robes in the sun, strangers holding hands, faces raised singing hymns of love.
Rev. Melanie Mullen, Director of Reconciliation, Justica and Creation Care