Lord, help me to stop using the phrase “return to normal.” Erase it from my vocabulary. For that sense of “normal” is the killing of people of color by police and white supremacists, lynched before our eyes again and again and again without us taking action to stop it. That sense of “normal” is the tolerance of poverty for some, inadequate medical care for some, housing discrimination imposed on some, which we ignore in our comfort. That sense of “normal” is racism, heterosexism, xenophobia, sexism, of discrimination and violence against our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters. That sense of “normal” is us divided.
O God, truly we don’t need a return to normal. We need what was normal to be shattered, broken, a thing of the past. We need your strength and wisdom and courage to do the shattering, to break from the old normal, to make it a thing of the past. And we need to not grieve its loss, even as we feel our shame and confess our sin at letting it happen for far too long. We need a new world order. We need new systems, just systems for all. We need just institutions for all. We need opportunities for all. We need equal protection under the law, for all. We need safety, and liberty, and life, for all. We need dignity and respect for all. We need to make this all happen. With your help, merciful and gracious God, we can make it happen, if we can see others—your beloved—through your eyes and your heart. Help us, we desperately pray. Amen.
from Pastor Leslie