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January 14, 2021

This is the latest installment of The Resistance Prays devotional series God With Us. 
D.C. Is Having A Rough Time. Here’s How To Write The City A Love Letter -via DCist
  • Many members of the Washington, D.C., community are feeling anger, shock, and sadness over the events of last week at the Capitol and anxiety about what’s still to come.
  • “When your employees of color call you and say they don’t feel safe coming to work that day, and your neighbors don’t feel safe in their own city, it’s just so sad,” Stacey Price co-founder of Shop Made in DC told DCist/WAMU. “We’re not just politics and government and the Capitol building,” Price says. “We’re a real place that bleeds.”
“Teach me your way, O Lord,
    and lead me on a level path
    because of my enemies.
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
    for false witnesses have risen against me,
    and they are breathing out violence.
I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord!” –Psalm 27: 11-14
I’ve only lived in the District of Columbia for four years, but in that time this city has changed me in profound and true ways. As a Pastor of a Congregation in the DMV, I saw firsthand that what happened last Wednesday changed the lives of many Washingtonians forever.  

Last week, it was not just a building that was attacked. There was an entire city of people who witnessed armed humans casually buying coffee before their protest. There were people commuting to work on the Metro who were forced to be confined with unmasked out of towners who felt freedom to claim our city as their own. There were very clear messages from Black Lives Matter DC activists that if you were black, brown, or queer presenting you should not be on the street last Wednesday. This was also the third time in six months that white supremacists visited our city and, in their wake, left church banners burned and COVID-19 in our streets. 
As Stacey Price, co-founder of Shop Made in DC, told DCist/WAMU, D.C is “not just politics and government and the Capitol building. We’re a real place that bleeds.” Our city is also a place that is historically black-majority and is named Chocolate City for those who know and love her well.
The Psalmist writes that “false witness has risen against them and breathed out violence.” The evils of white supremacy and Christian nationalism breathed out violence across a city where real people make their families and create their communities last week. The false witness of violence under the falsity of rebellion last week does not get to claim the true witness of this beautiful city.
The Psalmist continues: “I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” The District of Columbia, soon to be 51st state and the Douglas Commonwealth, is the land of the living. We are bleeding. We are grieving. We are mourning.
But there is goodness in the District! This city, and its people with their Go-Go music, and their Mambo sauce, their unquenchable ambition, and their enormously hopeful hearts is the land of the living, and we, in all of our diverse glory, shall live on. 
  • Get involved in the DC fight for statehood - through the DC Mayor's Office and by supporting advocates that have spent decades working for statehood at #WeAreDC.
  • Donate to the local active DC chapter of Black Lives Matter who very clearly warned city officials and national authorities of the extreme threat to the District last week and were ignored by those wielding decision making power. 
God of Places and Spaces:
Bless the Douglas Commonwealth in all of its nooks and crannies. 
Bless the Potomac, the River with a Bend, 
that holds boats and birds and the reflections of history, and hope and pain.
Bless the glow of the monuments at night and the smell of Ben’s Chili Bowl in the afternoon.
Bless the music of jazz and U-street and Lincoln Center.
Bless the Southeast, the Northeast, the Southwest, the Northwest.
Bless the City Council and Wards One through Eight.
Bless the colors of the metro: red, green, yellow, orange, blue, silver, maybe one day purple.
Bless the Salvadoran pupusa stands, and the hookah bars, and Go-Go sounds.
Bless the injera of little Ethiopia, and the traffic circles, and the acronyms. 
Bless us in mumbo sauce.
Bless us with Statehood.
Bless us with yellow painted streets that actually mean something to our people.
Root us in Chocolate City (forever),
Root us in the Piscataway people,
Root us in a land of the living that breathes, bleeds,
and lives for our entire nation.
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