Juneteenth
by Teresa Jackson on June 22nd, 2020

In a world filled with so many strong emotions, it is easy to become overwhelmed. When that happens people can experience burnout or compassion fatigue. I have been serving in a full time compassion ministry role for 21 years now. Some people have called me an empath. Perhaps that is true. I am not sure. I just know I feel the pain of others deeply. The last three months have been a roller coaster of emotions for me and I surmise you have felt it too. Sadness, anger, confusion, fear, grief, exhaustion, and even joy at the little things that make life special. In a time when so many people are sick and hurting, I deeply desire to respond in a meaningful way. Romans 12:15 has become a cornerstone for me these last few months. "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." I have rejoiced with families who have celebrated graduations, welcomed new babies, and met their weight loss goals. I have cried angry tears at the senseless murder of George Floyd and so many others whose lives were ended unjustly. Today is June 19. Juneteenth. This day is the oldest celebrated commemoration of the day that ended slavery in the USA. It embodies the words Freedom, Emancipation, and Jubilee. I mourn for the countless lives that were lost because of slavery, racism, and oppression. I rejoice that on June 19, 1865 Major General Gordon Granger brought the good news to Galveston, Texas that the war was over and President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation setting free all who were enslaved. Today I rejoice and mourn. I grieve the horrors experienced by people of color. I rejoice that Juneteenth made all men and women free from the bonds of slavery. I grieve that we haven’t come as far as we should have in the last 155 years. I rejoice that we have entered a new era of recognizing that sin; and are standing side by side, hand in hand to combat racism and oppression. Lord, lead us.
Open our eyes and give us courage to do the next right thing.
May Your kingdom come and Your will be done. Amen.



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