For the love of God is this, that we obey God’s commandments. And God’s commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. - 1 John 5:3-4 (NRSV)
In the cold of a Chicago January, I stood outside Terminal 5 at O’Hare International Airport surrounded by thousands of new friends. They were holding clever signs and waving the flags of America and Syria. Like others across the country, we were occupying the airport in protest over an illegal and immoral executive order on immigration.
I had been there for over an hour and joined in at least a dozen chants, when a new one started up. The person on the bullhorn began, “I believe we will win! I believe we will win!” I repeated the words, jumping up and down with the crowd to keep warm, but inside I was asking, “Is this true?”
The previous weeks (and subsequent ones) had brought so much pain, so much fear, so much loss. In my disappointment and cynicism, I wasn’t at all sure that love would triumph and justice would be done – that we would win.
Then I noted the signs around me: signs that quoted scriptures of at least three faiths, signs that bore the commandments of a liberating God who has been welcoming refugees for millennia, signs that reminded me on whose behalf I had traveled to the airport on that chilly night.
Moments later, a cheer went up from the crowd. A federal judge had ruled against the ban. Families were being released.
But then, we all knew it would happen.
God, your love conquers all. Conquer my cynicism. I believe you will win.