With more than 104,000 persons dead from the Covid virus, a call for a national day of mourning was held on Monday, June 1, 2020. Pastors from many denominations and non-denoms joined with rabbis, imams, mayors from small towns and big cities across the country in an online national day of mourning for those who have died in this pandemic. There is so much pain and hurt throughout America as families could not be with their loved ones who died alone in hospitals and nursing homes. This day of national mourning is an attempt to heal the pain and grief as Americans honor all of those who have died from this virus.
Rev. Jim Wallis, executive director of Sojourners magazine and website, said on NPR news that this is a collective event of religious leaders across America joining in a national mourning experience to try to heal the nation.
In the meantime Americans have been dealing with the outcry at the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer while three other police officers looked on. The first officer has been arrested for murder and manslaughter. But the other three police officers have not been charged at the time of this One Minute writing. This has prompted outrage across the country. At least 150 cities have seen peaceful protests disengage into violence, looting, and arson with police cars and buildings set on fire. Many cities have instituted curfews.
There are clergy who also suggest that there Is a second virus among us. It’s the virus of “white supremacy.” There have been reports of white men “dressed in black” smashing windows and firebombing businesses. These men mingle with protestors in order to create chaos. They are called “global anarchists.”
It is an extremely tense time. Non-violent protestors have their message compromised by looters. Policing in America is under review even as good officers attempt to keep the peace while being under siege.
In light of a national day of mourning there is much to heal in America. There are huge divides among Americans. As one of my friends said recently “it seems the world is falling apart.”
As Christians, we need to reclaim our values of truth telling, working for justice, praying for peace, and like Jesus, be willing to stand with those who are poor and outcast. Jesus is still the One that we follow. His words still ring true: “Blessed are the peacemakers”. There are many Christian leaders who are calling for calm and asking for justice in our land. Abraham Lincoln said, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” We need voices of mourning and also healing. We need leaders who have empathy, compassion and morality. We need to pray for justice as well as peace. We need healing and we need hope.
Christ calls us to Himself and calls us to repent and embrace His grace and mercy. We are called to be His servants, caring for our neighbors who have been injured by racial slurs and prejudice. We need to remember George Floyd and what was done to him as well as pray for those who contributed to his death. We need to pray for courage to stand up against the injustices we see.
We need to pray for a vaccine that will heal millions around the world. We need to pray for God to keep our world from falling apart. In the words of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr, “Where do we go from here.…community of chaos?”
One Minute is written by Rev. Ron Rehrer, Counselor for Church Workers of the Pacific Southwest District, phone: 949.433.5182, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org