It was a wet one yesterday for Fat Tuesday. I was in my galoshes all day thinking of the corner and the folks of Columbia. I’ve not been going out to wave when conditions are slick as commuters navitgate the busy intersection.
I did enjoy an appropriately Lousiana themed muffaletta sandwich with my son after his haircut. He was delighted to get a purple balloon for himself and one for his sister. One lollipop for himself, and one to take to his sister.
My Mardi Gras mood was tempered when I learned that a friend is having to help someone navigate the reality of ICE detention. One partner has been detained and the other one being ordered to come back next time with ticket to a country of origin. My friend helped the partner share the news with the couples’ kids. Devastating.
I had attended a Howard County Coalition for Immigrant Justice meeting on Sunday evening and learned more about the ICE facility being run in Howard County as the County maintains a contract with ICE. So much heartbreaking separation of people from their families.
It isn’t hard to fall into despair.
I wore a balloon to the Ash Wednesday noon service today that has since grounded. I talked about the witness of joy that springs forth in renewal. Even as we recall our mortality, we regain a sense of urgency about what it is we do with our hearts, minds, body here and now.
I look to hold up signs of joy and renewal as a form of Lenten fasting. Fasting from cyncism. Taking action and standing with those who did not get to enjoy Tuesday feasting, those who will not be with their loved ones for the wilderness days to come. May there yet be hope in the darkness, joy on the corner, love and sanctuary for all.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame…” (Isaiah 58: 9b-11)
For more on the local ICE Contract and actions, see Jews United for Justice here.
A Baltimore Sun Article on the contract here.
Pastor | Kittamaqundi Community Church | Columbia, Maryland