Reflection from Cleveland: Even the Sky Is Crying, but God Is Our Hope!

Reflection: Even the Sky Is Crying, but God Is Our Hope!

Sister Larretta Rivera-Williams, RSM
July 18, 2016

A severe thunderstorm blasted the morning sky over Cleveland as we boarded the bus for downtown.  Sister Simone Campbell described the streaks of lightening and cracks of thunder as “the sky crying that a National Convention is being held here.”

I am not sure the majority of Clevelanders are as excited about the Republican National Convention being here as they are about winning the 2016 National Basketball Association Championship.

1-ClevelandSome of the people we are advocating for are the people losing money this week. They are people in need of fair taxes, an increase in living wages, affordable housing and healthcare. Several  businesses in the vicinity of the Quicken Loans Arena, however, will be closed this week; people dependent will be negatively impacted. Businesses remaining open will difficult to reach if streets are closed. There will definitely be a crunch in some aspects of Cleveland’s economy.

Background checks, security screenings, and extra law enforcement is also building a healthy tab for the city.

We, the Nuns in the Bus, trust that all measures have been taken to assure safe passage in, around, and out of Cleveland.

We held our caucus last evening at St. Leo the Great School in Cleveland. As in prior cities the problems making gaps between the “haves and the have nots,” in Cleveland are a lack of public transportation, underemployment, low wages, unaffordable and poor housing, expensive or no health care, environmental injustice, etc.

Lisa Sharon Harper, Chief Church Engagement Officer for Sojourners, has joined us for a few days on the bus. She describes our presence among people as sacred encounters; providing sacred breathing space for the soul. What a powerful and humbling image!

The sun is beaming now. Another sign of God’s blessing upon our mission to “Mend the Gaps.”

Since vehicles cannot drive beyond a certain point we now travel by foot to our base camp at the headquarters of the United Church of Christ.

2clevelandWe call our street ministry today, Lemonade Ministry. Two Red Flyer wagons have been decorated to resemble our bus. As we meet people along the way and offer them a cup of cold Lemonade we are prepared to “listen to stories that need to be told and heard,” Sister Simone Campbell.

Three questions are being asked:
1) Who do you find it hard to discuss politics with in your family?
2) What worries you about this election?
3) What gives you hope for our nation?

These same questions will be asked at the Democratic National Convention next week in Philadelphia. We trust that what will be revealed is that all of us want the same thing. We want to heal our nation and solve our problems together! We the People making a difference

We have become signs of hope for a nation crying with fear, seething anger, and bleeding revenge. We are the hands, feet, and the voice of Christ in today’s wounded world.

With one another we stand strong in our faith knowing that God is in each step we take.  God is our peace, God is our hope, God is our tomorrow.

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