why i go to protests

Why do we go to protests and rallies?

Andy and I often ask ourselves this question in the car on the way home. And as we came away from the Stand With Muslims rally in Dealy Plaza last night, we pondered that question anew.

Because you see, we've rallied and protested about the Muslim Ban before, just after the innauguration, and here we are again, still the same people, still the same issue.

Does our protesting matter? Does it make any difference?

 photo: Andy Bruner

photo: Andy Bruner

I'm reminded this morning of a massive sculpture we saw in Budapest a couple of years ago, a polished stainless steel prow breaking up the concrete in front of it.

From behind, the sculpture is a collection of rusty steel beams stuck in the ground, and only slowly do they merge together into the powerful force for change that you see from the front.

 photo: Andy Bruner

photo: Andy Bruner

Most of the time, we feel like the rusty steel beam in the back. And we are.

But that's okay.

We are part of a whole that works together for liberty and justice for ALL.

Because ALL still means ALL.

And here's what I've learned about these things: you always meet the best people at protests.

This is where you meet your people, the other steel beams who are willing to stand there and sweat, believing together in what we can't always see.

Last night, we took a cooler full of bottled water and passed it around to others. I got to hand a bottle of water to a young Muslim mom, there with her toddler. She thanked me for being there. I said, "Thank you for being here. We want you here." She told me it meant a lot to hear that from me.

I handed a bottle of water to another mom in hijab, and we locked eyes and both said, "I know you!" And we realized we'd sat together at a Poor People's Campaign meeting.

And then of course there were our friends Andrew and Karen and Jill, and our pastor Erin from our church, and Wes, a pastor from another church here in town.

All the usual suspects.

Standing together.

Part of the whole.

We always chant this: "The people, united, will never be divided."

And the more we show up for each other, the more it turns out to be true.

So: see you the next time, friends.

Always standing with you.

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