Prepare the Way - Wednesday

read Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
from the artist | Lauren Wright Pittman

The words of this psalm both soothe my soul and ignite longing in my bones. I felt this same feeling as I watched the funeral of the Honorable Congressman, John Robert Lewis. I couldn’t help but weep listening to stories of his astounding life—about his passion and undying belief in humanity despite being repeatedly ridiculed, beaten, and jailed. It’s the same dissonance I feel when I hold this psalm in sharp contrast to the reality of this broken world.

During the funeral, professor and civil rights activist, Rev. James Lawson shared the poem, “I Dream A World” by Langson Hughes6 to close his remarks about Lewis:
“I dream a world where man / No other man will scorn, / Where love will bless the earth / And peace its paths adorn / I dream a world where all / Will know sweet freedom's way, / Where greed no longer saps the soul / Nor avarice blights our day. / A world I dream where black or white, / Whatever race you be, / Will share the bounties of the earth / And every [one] is free, / Where wretchedness will hang its head / And joy, like a pearl, / Attends the needs of all [humankind]— / Of such I dream, my world!”

Lewis aligned his dreams with the dreams of God, and he worked his whole life, creating a path for God’s forward motion. I believe this discord in my bones is actually a charge and calling—one that John Lewis named “the deepest calling of your hearts.” We were created to prepare the way for Shalom—complete wholeness and peace—to take shape on this earth, to ensure all of humanity can enjoy the fullness of Creation. May we honor the life and work of Lewis by getting into good trouble, preparing the way for God’s glory to dwell among us.

In quiet contemplation, look at the image below (maybe print it out & color it), reflecting on how the imagery illuminates what you find in the scripture and artist’s statement. Conclude with a silent or spoken prayer to God.

6 Hughes, Langston. “I Dream A World.” 1902-1967. The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. New York: Random House, 1994.

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