Saturday, December 17, 2005


Last Sunday, my first day back, I joined in a marcha in Manguinhos...they closed down Democraticos, the main road, so that the assembled churches and big sound vans could go around the community praying and singing and shouting. It was such a big, wonderful, odd feeling to be walking down streets I’ve seen inhabited by drug dealers and bloodstains and see people, be one of those people, singing praise songs at the top of their lungs. And so cool to be worshipping with all those friends and neighbor and total strangers. I held Junior’s nephew Mateus and we swung our arms around and he bounced on my hip as we prayed for peace and an end to the violence and for God to restore lives. I walked arm in arm with my friend Nayra as she teased me about my Spanish-tinged Portuguese and we danced to the right and danced to the left, singing about the blessings of God. And then I stood in the rain with Junior as it ended..just stood. As he put his arms around me and the rain came down on our bowed heads, the pastor shouting his prayers over loudspeakers better suited for a rock concert, we prayed that God would change our community. The end of the service was a simple, desperate cry, “Deus, Deus, Deus!” A plea, a primal prayer, devoid of eloquence, stripped down to the bare need that exists in every human heart. God. God. God. Save us. It sent chills down my spine...

1 comment:

Marcia said...

Sometimes the primal, stripped-down prayers are the most eloquent of all.

Have a good Christmas!