Day 9: Preparation is an Answer to God’s Call
BY LORI STANLEY | March 2, 2023
Esther’s resolve to seek justice for her people and courage from her God is remarkable! Ready to do the work on herself before entering negotiations, Esther acts in faithful patience until the appointed time. Her savvy determination adorns her predicament in such a way that she appeals to her unpredictable husband who grants her desires without a fight.
Esther’s story reminds me of May 25, 2020, when I cried for God’s help after George Floyd’s murder. My people were being murdered by law enforcement at an exponential rate. Paralyzed and isolated, I laid prostrate begging for courage to stand up for justice. This moment demanded my self-examination. Before linking up with allies to slay the lions of privilege and the enemy of systemic racism, I needed to do my inner work and self-reflection.
Just like Esther and her handmaids, it was in solidarity that I found my prophetic voice which God fashioned especially for me to address the signs of the times. When I called for help, God gave me strength. I’m walking now toward the beauty of mutuality, lamenting with divine freedom and possessing the byproduct of courage. I look toward a hopeful future that protects God’s diverse creation in all its stages of life as I ask, seek, and knock to find God answering my call for help in these chaotic times.
- Where have you seen God’s hand move in your life during these chaotic times of racial injustice(s)?
- How have you grown in self-awareness about being anti-racist?
Lori Stanley is the executive director of the Loyola Institute for Spirituality in Orange, CA. She is a masters candidate studying pastoral theology with a concentration in spiritual direction at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. She has been married for 33 years and has an adult daughter.
Thank you, Lori for sharing your reflection. I share your desire for racial justice and remain open to confront it when God presents the opportunity. I listened to a radio program where W.Kamau Bell was indicating that what we can do is confront behaviors and attitudes in people who knowing or unknowingly contribute to racism. White on white. Our own invitation to inclusivity and hospitality: may it be the seed that grows on fertile ground.
Lori, thank you for your sharing your words and expressions relating to Esther’s experience as a woman in God’s world. Your reflection question, Where have you seen God’s hand move in your life during these chaotic times of racial injustice(s)? As a middle aged African American woman, I find myself challenged by how I see things and receiving how others perceive us during this chaotic moment in our present history.
Three years ago, on Christmas day, my husband and I were alone. I had decided to make a special meal to honor the day. Just as we were sitting down to eat, our doorbell rang. Outside were members of a Muslim refugee family we had been helping, who had come by to see if we needed help with outside work. They insisted on raking all the leaves (it had been a very mild winter) still on the ground, and they came back two more times until the job was done. They refused any kind of pay. Whenever I am feeling despondent about the state of the world, I think of this very generous act of kindness from people who are often thought of as “others”.
Racial injustice is promoted by the media – Israelis killing Palestinians, Chinese killing Muslims. Yet when I encounter people on a one on one level I find I am welcomed and assisted. For instance, when hitching in apartheid South Africa, people of all colours and cultures picked me up. However, the Europeans picked us up out of fear of what the Africans would do to us, where us everyone else picked us up because they genuinely wanted to help others and would have in addition offered us hospitality, except legally they were forbidden to have a white person in their home.
Recently in New Zealand, an indigenous person not only gave me a ride, but also gave me money. What a contrast! When the colonials were in power, how many shared what they had with the indigenous living in poverty? Yet, now the the indigenous get all the government handouts, and indigenous who are self made are willing to share what they have with those who are poor and receive no helping hand from the government because they have no indigenous blood.
I’m reflecting on my unconscious bias. Just completed “White Fragility” on racism. It was an eye opener for a person raised and living in a rural’ white community. I’m also rereading Don Lemon’s “This is the Fire”-What I say to my friends about racism.
Lori Stanley is doing fine. Human beings are made in the image and likeness of the divine – declare Scriptures.