Thank you for your ministry of bringing Jesus to people during this difficult time in our world. You’re listening deeply to the spiritual needs of the people you serve. You’re adjusting and adapting your ministry. You are providing meaningful, creative spiritual care in a time of anxiety and fear for many institutions and their patients and clients. You’re extending the gospel into institutions and into the lives of people who are not able to set foot in a church or tap a stranger on the shoulder to ask for help.
Our newsfeeds are filled with words and images of black, brown, and Indigenous brothers and sisters who are crying out and naming the grave injustices that they face each day. We see images of rioting and the raw emotions of those who have been hurt and feel the weight of oppressive systems. But for many of us, their experiences feel surreal and unfamiliar to us. And for others seeing the pictures and hearing the life stories of folks like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery is physically and spiritually painful. It is a lived reality of being subject to oppressive systems.
At times, the weight of the brokenness in our world can feel so overwhelming. Some of you are exhausted and even fearful as another crisis hits our lives. I encourage you, brothers and sisters, to stay in this difficult space to listen deeply to the stories of those who are deeply hurting and honor those whose lives have ended too soon. May we pray like the Psalmists in their lament crying out for justice:
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? —Psalm 13:2
Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression? —Psalm 44:2
We serve a God who is sovereign and does not abandon us to figure all this out on our own. God has given us the Holy Spirit, who intercedes for us to pray when we don’t have words. Romans 8:26-27 explains, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” We are called to be prophets, advocates, and allies during this difficult time in our world through deeply listening to the stories of injustice, developing deep empathy, and breaking down unjust systems.
Our ministry is continuing to pray for your safety, perseverance, and strength. Thank you for doing this difficult work.
Rev. Sarah Roelofs
Director of Chaplaincy and Care Ministry