Places are slowly opening back up. The library called to say they were open for curbside pickup, and that my son’s audio book order from back in March was ready any time. The piano teacher said she got approval from church to begin having lessons in person again with social distancing and sanitizing precautions. The 12 mini-communion services on Sunday will be changing to three separate hour long services with cleaning, social distancing, masks, and no singing. Goodwill is accepting donations again.
The other day while making supper, my phone was playing a livestream of one of the protests. A man was at a microphone and leading the crowd in chanting the name of the deceased. After that man was done another black man took the stage or whatever they were speaking from. He started doing things you don’t see on the news, like praying in the name of Jesus. His prayer went on for what seemed like too long, and even I began to feel strangely uncomfortable, wondering how long they would let this go on.
I wish now I’d paid more attention to the details, because I cannot say with confidence what news station it was (NBC or MSNBC?). I also can’t remember which city he was in. I’d jumped around to several, including Houston and Atlanta. Wherever he was, he prayed to Jesus, believing that Jesus was there where he was. He prayed for justice and acknowledged his anger. He prayed for all who were praying like he was and who were angry like he was, and asked that in their anger they would not forget honor.
Right about the time he started using words like “honor”, his prayer started breaking in and out, and you heard instead that crinkling sound you hear when you’re turning the dial to find an obscure and sensitive radio station. I thought, “Yep, this is it. The demons can’t take it”, and then the black man’s voice came back on the air. He prayed for peace and protection for the cities and as soon as those two words came out, his voice went silent. I looked up from the stove and the moving picture of a crowded street lasted five to ten seconds longer before going black with “This livestream has ended”.
I didn’t get to hear what the rest of his prayer was, but I wasn’t disappointed, and neither was I even the slightest bit surprised. A great mercy took place in the streets of that city.
God had heard his prayer before it ever left his lips.