Prayer for the Community: Lament and Hope on the Journey
In her book “Roadmap to Reconciliation: Moving Communities into Unity, Wholeness, and Justice,” Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil uses the term “catalytic event.” This term refers to the often painful but necessary experiences that happen to individuals and groups that serve to jump-start the process of reconciliation, restoration, and redemption. She unpacks the idea in her chapter entitled “Shake it Up” where she encourages readers to embrace the chaos of process.
This comes to mind as I reflect upon GU’s Center for Community Engagement’s recent statement of solidarity with the Black Lives Matters Movement. We have all been, are being shaken by this season of convergence of racial, economic, and health crises. We lament the trauma, pain and suffering which is surfacing for all to see. While we lament and grieve, though, we also can find hope. I’m not talking about wishful thinking or hope deferred which makes the heart grow sick. Rather, I’m talking about Biblical hope, which is “cheerful, joyful, confident expectation.”
It is that belief which encourages and empowers me to persevere confidently, authoritatively, and humbly in collaborative engagement in the emerging transformation in Northeast Spokane, and beyond. My prayer is that this hope would be compelling and contagious. May it go viral.
– Rev. Rodney McAuley, pastor and mentor in the greater Spokane community