Children are being held in appalling conditions in the United States. It’s hard to imagine that this is real and here and now. It’s not the first time, of course. But still, I never thought it would happen again. In our name. Cages, filth, illness, families ripped apart, children denied basic human comfort.
I don’t know how to stop it, but we do what we can. On July 12, Dave and I attended a Lights 4 Liberty Vigil (sponsored by the UUSC among others) at the Courthouse in Media. We were going as citizens, not clergy, so we didn’t wear collars. I forgot entirely to wear a UU T-shirt. We went early so I could find a bench to sit on – I could help swell the numbers, but I can’t stand for long. Dave, of course, visited in the crowd, finding friends and meeting new folks. After a while, he beckoned to me. “I don’t want to get up, I’ll lose my seat,” I whined. “You’re needed. You are giving the invocation.” They taught me in seminary that a minister needs to be able to preach, or pray, or die on a dime. So I stood up. I quickly borrowed a Side of Love pinney that UU Ann Keech had made of her T-shirt. And there I was, moments later, on the Courthouse steps, making a spontaneous public prayer before hundreds. “Gracious God, Spirit of Life, we are here today on behalf of human decency.” I looked at the signs people carried for content. “We are here because Never Again is Now.” I hope I made sense. People said they were inspired. At least I was mercifully brief.
But for me the most powerful moment had come the evening before. We attended a Concert For Humanity at the Methodist Church in West Chester. After speeches and music – including Rev. Dan Schatz of the UU church there – the finale was a performance by an Aztec Dance Troupe. One of the dancers had a three or four year old with her, a little girl unwilling to be left on a pew while mom danced. So the mother did what mothers do – she danced the sacred dance, with child in arms. They made an iconic picture, that spoke directly to the heart of humanity.
May all our hearts be moved to justice, equity, and compassion.
Rev Kerry Mueller