As I write this, a jury in Minnesota has returned three guilty verdicts in the case against the ex-police officer that murdered George Floyd. For months, people in that community have been waiting and protesting. And with each new atrocity, the pain has deepened– if that is even possible at this point. For the last day, it was as if the whole country was holding its breath. Waiting to see and hear what would happen next. Would this pattern continue? Would the systemic racism of our justice system turn a blind eye again? And if so, what then? And as the verdicts were announced, as the word spread across social media, there was a collective exhalation of pent up fear and possible relief. As one person wrote, this wasn’t justice– but it was accountability. And that is a start. And in that start, we feel hope.

This week, Cheryl and I will be past our vaccination waiting period– both shots in and our immune systems primed and prepared to respond to the Covid virus. After a year of being in self-imposed quarantine, avoiding family and friends and social gatherings, we are finally safe to start making plans. We are still a bit nervous. It’s a long time since we were around other people. At the same time, we can’t wait to see Cheryl’s dad. I look forward to playing games across a table with people. I’m looking forward to a time when we can all meet together and I can actually lead a worship in the UUC sanctuary. Over half of the adult population of the U.S. has had at least one shot. We aren’t where we need to be, yet. It isn’t completely safe, yet. But we are getting there. It is more than a start. And with that amazing progress, we feel hope.

Even though our government is still gridlocked, and our country is still painfully divided, some things are changing. The stimulus package was passed, giving financial relief to many in need. We are having real conversations on the federal level about securing and protecting our voting rights even while states are passing laws restricting voting in obviously racially motivated ways. The Green New Deal is still being discussed and isn’t being seen as a fantasy worth laughter and derision. Our President has spoken out in support of our transgender citizens and against gun violence. It seems to be happening slowly and probably not to an extent that I would wish for– but the moral arc of the universe does appear to be bending towards justice once again. Slightly. Slowly. But with every movement, we feel hope.

The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light
if only we’re brave enough to see it,
if only we’re brave enough to be it.

~ Amanda Gorman, National Youth Poet Laureate


Rev. Craig