Bold and Wise – Rev. Alycia Erickson

This week, Rolling Stone released an article about U.S. House Representative and Civil Rights trailblazer John Lewis.

“I hate to say it, but I think we’re in deep trouble,” Lewis told Rolling Stone’s Jamil Smith. “You worry about our future, as a people and as a nation. Sometimes you’re afraid to go to sleep, to turn off the radio or the television or to pick up a book or a newspaper and read,” he added. Asked if he had any diversions to help calm his mind, Lewis responded he had some, “But I have never been like this, even during the height of the civil-rights movement.”

His concerns caught my attention. He names the fear and anxiety I see in my community. We live in strange times. Many of us might share Lewis’ concerns, AND know we do not have the luxury of waiting for others to do the work needed to address the challenges we face today.

As we engage in the work of fighting the powers that be, we must also make the time to take care of ourselves. That’s a difficult balancing act, and one we need our colleagues and fellow advocates to help us manage.

Last fall, I discovered this prayer attributed to Joan of Arc, and I turn to it regularly during my own times of despair. I hope that it might also help those of you committed to the hard work of social justice through resistance and renewal in Colorado in 2019.

In the face of your enemies,
in the face of harassment, ridicule, and doubt,
you held firm in your faith.
Even in your abandonment,
alone and without friends,
you held firm in your faith.
Even as you faced your own mortality,
you held firm in your faith.
I pray that I may be as bold
in my beliefs as you, St. Joan.
I ask that you ride alongside me
in my own battles.
Help me be mindful
that what is worthwhile
can be won when I persist.
Help me hold firm in my faith.
Help me believe in my ability
to act well and wisely.
Amen.

 

Rev. Alycia Erickson
Colorado Springs Faith Leaders Table
Pastor of Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church in Colorado Springs

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