Every Wednesday at noon throughout the Idaho state legislative session, you can find me on the steps of the Capitol building, standing still and praying silently. The silence of my thoughts is interrupted only by the occasional sniffle, as my nose angrily protests the bitter cold I’ve subjected it to.
I don’t stand alone, but rather alongside colleagues representing the Interfaith Equality Coalition – pastors, ministry leaders, and faithful members of a variety of faith traditions gathering to bear witness to the all-inclusive love and justice of God in the context of a state (and a world) that seems hellbent on ushering in hatred and injustice instead.
By the nature of our silent prayer vigils, we don’t often come face-to-face with the legislators who are on the other side of the Capitol walls. Though it’s their lunch break, most of our elected officials have either opted to send staff to retrieve their fare, or far more likely, they’ve simply snuck out a side door to avoid us.
Still, I stand silently in prayer. And for what do I pray?
I admit that I sometimes wonder whether my silent prayers are heard, or if they’re even worth my time. Surely, my cold toes and sniffling nose would like nothing more than to return to the comforts of my warm office and its endless to-do lists. And if the legislative proposals being considered at the Capitol are any indication, our presence outside certainly hasn’t led to any changes of heart. Are my silent, frozen prayers even worth it?
But then, I notice how the world that surrounds my silent prayers isn’t silent at all.
So, I’ll continue to stand. And pray. And write. And speak. And preach. And support. And mourn. And celebrate. And reach out.
Because the sound of every honking horn, every crackling voice, every angry insult, and every supportive community (whether goose or interfaith leader) will be woven together with the silence.
Until love wins.
I'm a husband, father, news junkie, theatre lover, enneagram enthusiast, bi advocate, amateur foodie, wannabe barista, and an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
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