I spend a lot my time and life energy organizing with the New Orleans community inside the walls of a church with no windows. Hearing my boots crunching on the shattered glass on the floor after a brick was thrown through a beautiful window last Sunday at First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans, it occurred to me for the first time that that brave windowless church downtown might not be windowless by accident.
It got me to thinking about all the ways we adapt to the environment in which we live – the weather, the traffic patterns, the thought patterns, the power arrangements. I have learned to look both ways multiple times when crossing a one-way street in New Orleans because I have learned that one-way signs are treated more as suggestions than directions here. I have learned to carry a scarf no matter how hot the day, because it is possible to freeze to death in a well air-conditioned New Orleans summer. I have learned to ask and ask and ask again when trying to get through the layers of mystery surrounding most fiscal policy decisions in Louisiana. The first few answers are rarely the real story.
And I’m wondering what kind of adaptations I and other people of faith standing on the side of love and justice and mercy for people pushed to the margins of survivability in this city and this country will make as we face the fear and anger of those who do not wish to see the current power arrangement dismantled and recreated more equitably. I hope we will breathe in and breathe out, remember that we are not alone, and continue the faith work co-creating beloved community. May we continue to let the light shine in with courage and commitment.