I never thought in my lifetime.....

I never thought in my lifetime I would ever see blatant discrimination. I was a youth following the Civil Rights Movement. Everything was going to work out just fine. That was 45 years ago and yesterday, I experienced a moment where I thought we had gone back in time.

What causes us to leave the passion that feeds our desire for justice? What gives us the excuse to say "that was then, this is now" to issues that continue to fester our society. My experience over the weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina where we were gathered to "remind' ourselves what Racial Justice is still about, I experienced the wake up call "that we never quite got there."

In a state that covered up their behind the scenes actions that stripped people of color, women, LGBTQIA, and refugees of their rights, the blatant actions of discrimination shook me to the core. It is more than verbal insults, or face-to-face confrontations. It is embedded in the being of many persons. And not just in North Carolina. What causes people to run from what their hearts are telling them to the ugly side of fear and hatred?

We stood together at a sunny park in front of the Merklenburg County Courthouse arm and arm with people of color, various religions or no religion at all, transgender and men and women all expressing how we must change these laws that will implode our society.

We prayed for understanding and patience to get to know one another long enough to put a face the injustices that blind us.

We shouted, sang and cried. We moved from that park committed to not let the hate win out over the love. We took it to our airports where we were ready to intercede if needed to be a neighbor. We move on more encouraged that alone I may only be a noisy gong, but together we can be the bells of freedom and justice that will awaken this country and our world the the justice all deserve.

Faith communities, the time is now. It is simple we must live out loving our neighbors. No matter the cost. For God is standing beside us, arm in arm, crying just the same.

Nichea Ver Veer Guy,

Discipleship Pathway Director