I spent time reading the reactions of elected officials, the rich and famous, the (semi, pseudo and saintly) religious and ordinary regarding the verdict of guilty “on all accounts”, paying attention to the words they used. Words will always matter, particularly at a time like this. Certain phrases used intrigued me, others got to me in positive ways, while others impacted me negatively. All this made me pause because I’m not sure exactly what would come out of my mouth if a microphone was stuck in front of my face or I received an email or phone call demanding or desiring words of wisdom, comfort or inclination.  Don’t get me wrong. I don’t sit on the fence here. I clearly heard the words of the prophet Amos in my head… “let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” I also remembered the words of Martin Luther King, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” The emotional intensity of this verdict is explainable and for me very understandable. The words people spoke led me to think about the juries who accepted their civic duty under heavy and difficult circumstances with life-altering consequences.   I thought about all those involved in the judicial process – the judge, the lawyers, (their staff), the bailiffs, all the court officials (their families). I thought about the witnesses, the police; I even thought about the reporters. I thought about the community and the ripple effect that this case and verdict would cause throughout our country. I thought about the guilty, Derek Chauvin, his friends and friends.  I thought about the family and friends of George Floyd. I spent a lot of time today thinking, which means I did a lot of praying. It is that kind of day for me. Providential, I stumble upon the words of Elie Weisel, the famous writer, professor at Boston University, political activist, Nobel Prize Winner and Holocaust survivor who once said: “The opposite of love, is not hate, it is indifference.  Indifference is not an option.  Just as racism is not and evil is not.  We can make a difference in even the smallest of ways. And we must learn to see the in the other in the street, in the passerby….not an enemy, but a fellow sojourner….not an enemy…. but a friend, a companion; someone whose hand, when it is open, is a gift in itself.  Life is sacred…..and human beings are not replaceable.  Always think higher, and feel deeper about one another.  Because we are each other’s hope.”

Scripture Reading: Amos 5:24
“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like
an ever-flowing stream.”

Reflection Questions:
Who needs your prayers today?
How can you be more engaged in helping justice to
“roll down like water”?
How are you someone’s hope?

Prayer: Holy God, keep me from being indifferent. Let me feel deeply for the other so I can welcome the stranger as someone created in your image.   Amen.