Reflection: We Are All Hungry for Justice

Sr. Larretta Rivera-Williams
Thursday, July 14, 2016

We can’t all sleep on a bed of clouds. Some people in our town have to sleep on stone or concrete streets.
-Layla age 12
Quote on display in Jefferson City at Central Missouri Community Action Agency Family Resource Center

So young and so astute to the world around her. I have never met Layla, but thousands can relate to stone pillows and the cold concrete.

I’ve never lived in public h28218291611_beb579f9bf_oousing; never feared the drug dealer residing next door. I have never had to use public transportation nor worry about what I would have to eat. I have been hugged, however, by those who have.

The people greeting us along the way are so grateful that we have chosen to visit with them. Men, women, and youth thrilled that Nuns on the Bus has made a stop in their city. What a humbling experience this has been!

When we step off the bus people cheer and rush forward to shake our hands. Some people with tears in their eyes want to hug us; telling us how much it means to have us with them. Sr. Susan is keeping count of the number of times Sr. Simone is introduced as a “rock star.”

People are hungry for justice! People are filled with questions of “why” and “what can we do?” People are searching for answers in a country of uncertainty. People want to be listened to without being threatened, judged, or silenced.

Nuns on the Bus is scheduled to travel to 13 states and 23 cities. We have already been to three states and four cities. I know that we have given people a sense of hope and a start to finding the answers.

We begin our day with prayer. Grateful for the people we have met; emotionally moved and strengthened by their sacred stories. We continue forward with their blessings and the power of the Holy Spirit.

The bus is moving and bouncing us along east 64 to St. Louis. Before we lay our heads upon “a bed of clouds” tonight, I wonder how many people will we have met who are afraid of the drug dealer next door, need transportation to a second job that still only allows them to live from pay check to pay check? How many will we have met today who are in need of food and a place to call home; in need of health care to receive proper medical attention for an elderly parent, a sick child, or to seek proper care for themselves?

How many will we have met who are simply hungry for justice?

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About ashley

Ashley is NETWORK’s Communications Manager. She leads message development and media strategy to highlight the work of NETWORK, our activists, and partners in their advocacy efforts to mend the gaps. Ashley has been at NETWORK since 2012, and has implemented email and digital strategy, created campaigns and resources to educate the community of activists, and served as immigration lead during the 2012-2013 push for comprehensive immigration reform. She has traveled to 28 states with NETWORK’s Nuns on the Bus trips. Ashley graduated from St. Joseph’s University, a Jesuit school in Philadelphia, with a degree in Political Science and minors in Sociology and Faith Justice Studies. During college she worked in the Faith Justice Institute to coordinate service-learning opportunities for students, served as President of SJU Students for Workers’ Rights, and volunteered with LIFT-Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness. Ashley is an active member of Contemplative Leaders in Action, and a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Ignatian Solidarity Network. Where she finds inspiration for work: • Connecting with people on Twitter! • Conversations with Catholic Sisters What she loves outside of NETWORK: • Gardening • Discussing Oscar-nominated movies • Quoting most lines from Harry Potter and the West Wing Originally from: Martinsville, New Jersey Why she likes D.C.: It is exciting living in the city where our nation’s laws are created! She also enjoys the DC biking community and being able to visit the monuments and museums anytime she wants. Follow her on Twitter: @APdubs