After a few people asked why I was going to participate in the Women’s March on Charlotte, and why was it called a "March for Women" as opposed to a "March for All", I decided that I needed to respond. So I have taken portions of emails I wrote in response to those questions and turned them into this blog post. I am very well aware that everyone that marched will answer the question differently. I can only tell my story. -Amy
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Amy Jacks Dean
Today is the International Day of Peace.
And now chaos has come to our own Queen City here in Charlotte, NC. But it didn't just arrive 24 hours ago. It's been brewing here like it brews everywhere. Yesterday it just became clear and plain for all to see.
And so, when we don't know what else to do, we gather.
From Amy Jacks Dean, Co-Pastor Park Road Baptist Church:
This Sunday, as we do every Sunday, I will share with the Park Road congregation our Assurance of Pardon:
"You are loved. You are forgiven. BE AT PEACE."
But how in the world can we be at Peace after watching the videos of the shooting of black members of our human family, followed by anger boiling into a rage that lets loose a random retaliation killing of innocent police officers?
God, forgive us. And God help us.
As a preparation for worship this Sunday, perhaps we can all start ahead of time praying our Prayer of Confession for Sunday:
"We live in the shadow of peace, O God, but too often we face the shadow and not the light. We pray for peace today because we know we are not a whole people without it. Forgive us our warring madness, our abuse of power, and our disregard of the rights of others. Lift from us the burden of the need always to be in control. Teach us the ways of mutual love for all people. Help us to give peace a chance. Amen."
— Paul B. Robinson
Recently, as a matter of fact it was just yesterday morning at Caribou Coffee, when Russ and I were meeting with some recent visitors - a young couple with a young child – and they said, “We have a few questions for you.” I just love that. They had done their homework about us: visited, gone to the website, read a few blogs, and now they came with questions. Their leading question was so good: “Where do you see your church in the next 5-10 years?” What a great question. In the next 5-10 years, their son will be in middle school and then high school. We sat back in our chairs a bit to answer carefully.
It takes work to overcome our fears. Daily, persistent, intentional WORK. You have to decide not to be afraid. You have to take deep breaths, utter phrases that are filled with Truth rather than propaganda over and over to yourself, and then push yourself to press through the fear and decide to live life to the fullest.
It is the job of all parents to teach their children about faith. And those who are members of churches have chosen to tackle that job in community,. I believe that is the best decision you could have made. And I wonder, when your children graduate, will you be able to list all these things in which your children have participated that have helped to guide and mold them into faithful disciples? I hope so. Parenting is the most important job you will ever have.
Trying to reconcile the biblical verse with the desperate plea of a dying man makes my head hurt – and my heart ache. How can we make sense of the frustrations and anger and feelings of helplessness that accompany each new report of another life unnecessarily lost?
Perhaps you feel the same? I know lots of people have doubts and questions about a world where these things can occur. And do occur – over and over. So I offer these thoughts. I wish they were solutions. But all I have are thoughts, ponderings, and a struggle to understand – on those difficult days when it’s hard to sigh; when you can’t breathe.
By Amy Jacks Dean