Time for An Answer
This is what the Lord God showed me—a basket of summer fruit. He said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” – Amos 8:1-2a (NRSV)
How am I supposed to respond to your question, God? Simply point out the obvious? Like I did? Because, let’s face it, there is nothing you do not know.
What am I supposed to say about what I see? About beyond what is right in front of me? Do I paint a pretty picture so folx don’t lose hope or get angry? Or do I tell the truth about a system that is guilty as hell, rotten at the core?
Before I could push back and turn the question around on you, God, before I could ask you what it is you see, you pour out your lament, your rage, your grief.
You swore justice.
So now I must ask the questions being asked by countless mothers that have buried their Black children gunned down by the police, by families separated at the border, by communities devasted by environmental racism:
“How long must we wait, O Lord, how long? How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save?”
It is time for an answer, don’t you think?
God, give us courage to ask hard questions and the audacity to expect a response. When we pray, we “pinky-swear” to listen and make space for your response so that we might live as a resurrection people called to speak life as love and justice embodied in the world. Amen.
Marilyn Pagán-Banks (she/her/ella) is a queer womanist freedom fighter gratefully (though not always gracefully) serving as executive director of A Just Harvest, Senior Pastor at San Lucas UCC, and adjunct professor at McCormick Theological Seminary. She is a joyful contributor to The Words of Her Mouth.