Yesterday, millions of men, women, and children marched for human rights all across world. Marches began sprouting up in over 400 US cities, and 168 other countries, where there were nearly 700 marches worldwide, including 20 in Mexico and 29 in Canada. It is estimated more than 3 million people marched in the USA alone and countless more worldwide. (source)
My daughter Emma and I attended the march in San Diego, along with 30,000 others. Women, men and children marched for various reasons. They marched to share their thoughts and opinions on same sex marriage and pro choice issues, they marched in solidarity for the refugee, the immigrant and equal rights. The marched to protest some issues and policies and support others. I went to stand with those who feel unheard, unwanted, and uncertain of their future in the United States. I also marched because I believe Jesus would have marched, and indeed was.
I did not march in protest of anything, I marched to show love, support and compassion with those who feel none. I marched because I wanted my daughter to know that she could participate in a peaceful march like this, without hate or violence, and stand with those who hurt. We don’t have to share peoples convictions, beliefs or lifestyle, but it doesn’t mean that we, the church, shouldn’t be in the same spaces that these people are in, standing side by side with people who don’t look like us, act like us, talk like us or believe like us. In fact, those are the places we need to be.
The event was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. There were signs of hope, raised beside signs of hated and anger. There were people cheering and full of joy, standing beside others who were hopeless and tearing others down. There were things that I was proud for my daughter to see, and things that I wish she never had to see, or see again. There were people booing Trump for his policies, asking for a better America, and highlighting their conviction of pro choice over pro life. It was a beautiful mix of love and hate that Jesus was right in the middle of, and that my daughter and I were in the middle of as well.
I was reading a post this morning by Mike Frost, an author and teacher. He beautifully wrote about the marches, and his (and my) belief in pro life for the unborn. I was not there to change anyones mind in this, as there is plenty of tension on this issue in our world already, but I was there, as a follower of Jesus, and believer in pro life, to love and represent Jesus and His church.
I was sitting in a worship service today with my church community and was overcome with emotion at the brokenness of our world. It is filled with so much hate, oppression, and hurt. We the church need to stand with those who are hurting. It was after all the broken that Jesus hung out with. He never judged them, just loved them. He never responded in hate, always in love. He loved and ate with the woman in prostitution, had dinner at a tax collector’s house, and sat with the refugee’s and immigrants of his day. That is what I am trying to do, and what I am trying to lead my children to do.
The words of the song “Brother” by the Brilliance come to mind as I write this. I am not a pro choice, feminist, hater of Trump, I am a follower of Jesus, who is trying to live and love like Him.
When I look into the face
Of my enemy
I see my brother
I see my brother
Forgiveness is the garment
Of our courage
The power to make the peace
We long to know
Open up our eyes
To see the wounds that bind
All of humankind
May our shutter hearts
Greet the dawn of life
With charity and love