In the midst of a world

In the midst of a world
marked by tragedy and beauty
there must be those
who bear witness
against unnecessary destruction
and who, with faith,
rise and lead
in freedom,
with grace and power.
There must be those who
speak honestly
and do not avoid seeing
what must be seen
of sorrow and outrage,
or tenderness,
and wonder.
There must be those whose
grief ­troubles the water
while their voices sing
and speak
refreshed worlds.
There must be those
whose exuberance
rises with lovely energy
that articulates
earth’s joys.
There must be those who
are restless for
respectful and loving
companionship among human beings,
whose presence invites ­people
to be themselves without fear.
There must be those
who gather with the congregation
of remembrance and compassion
draw water from
old wells,
and walk the ­simple path
of love for neighbor.
There must be communities of ­people
who seek to do justice
love kindness and walk humbly with God,
who call on the strength of
to heal,
and bless life.
There must be
religious witness.

swirls of moving light, in reds and greens, on a black field
a young African American man gazes into the lens in this piercing portrait