My Galilee

Date: July 14, 2022

Today’s reality. Weapons-of-war-wielding-white-shooters massacre routinely, their guns and ammo so powerful as to destroy their victims beyond recognition.  And as if rehearsing the Prayer Book Baptismal command to respect the dignity of every human being, cops take the shooters alive and as in one case, to buy food and feed them.

And recently, as has happened before, a black man, after some traffic violation, unarmed and running in reasonable fear of being killed is riddled with over 60 bullets and lay dead.  He was running away. Meanwhile, the US government takes back reproductive freedoms women have long assumed, and by so doing mandates pregnancies.

The Resurrection angel told the women to go to Galilee to see the Risen Christ.  I ask, where do we go today to experience the hope of God’s love?  Where is it that we go to find hope and light amid such despair?  Where is our Galilee?

Toward the end of Barack Obama’s Presidency, when my hope for racial reconciliation was all but gone, and the now known — but then unimaginable — authoritarian horror hovered all about, I attended a screening of Ava DuVernay’s “Selma.”  She was there that night, as were several members of the cast.  Also present was Rep. John Lewis who – then in as we come to know his last years – spoke about his role in the 1965 Voting Rights March across Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge.  After the program I ran to him for help with my despair. When I told him that I had lost hope for racial reconciliation in America, in shock and horror he looked as if I had just stabbed him in his gut. He took my shoulders and walked me back to the wall. His index finger in my chest punctuated each word as he commanded me to NEVER LOSE HOPE – that I cannot go on without it. “There. Is. Always. Hope,” he said with urgency and alarm.  Was that my Galilee?  I wish…

Riley Temple, MTS, JD
Collection Growth Specialist for the African American Episcopal Historical Collection
Bishop Payne Library

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