“Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.”
I’ve been at a loss for words in prayer lately. I feel like Cleopas when he was talking to Jesus on the road to Emmaus: “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days!?” (While the exclamation point wasn’t in the text, his exasperation was palpable.)
Like many, I have wondered where God is in all of this.
When I worked at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, I loved illustrating one of JRS’ core missions—accompaniment. It comes from panis, the Latin word for bread. First, I would toss a loaf of bread out to the audience. Then, I would take that loaf and invite someone in the audience to break bread with me. While the first example addressed hunger, the second took the response further by inviting people into relationship. Our God is not a God of transactions, but accompaniment.
And so, I think I’ll try something new this week and will spend some time with God “conversing about all the things that had occurred.” I will actively find God in the simple, beautiful moments that have been bringing me to tears lately. I will actively find God, angry and mourning beside me as this disease ravages communities, particularly communities of color.
Perhaps most of all, I will actively find God in the burning of my heart as the inequality in our country and world continues to be uncovered. A recent New York Times article noted that, “Crises like pandemics, economic collapses and world wars have, at times throughout history, ended up reordering societies—shrinking the gap between the rich and the poor, or empowering the working class.” But the article specified that in order for things to change, it will require enough people to rise up and demand working conditions that respect human dignity.
While we may be hunkering down, now more than ever, it is time to rise up with God walking by our side along the way.
Kim Coleman is the Integrated Marketing Director for the Ignatian Solidarity Network.