Ripples of Work and Hope

Based on both Houses of Congress’s passage, President Joe Biden is to sign into law the newest federal holiday known as Juneteenth. This holiday commemorates the news given by Union troops to the enslaved people of Galveston, Texas. Two years after the civil war they were told that they were free. Can you imagine how they must have felt? Although it was initially hard for them to know how to live in freedom, they must have danced for joy for many days!

Many sacrifices were made for this day of freedom and for the ending of chattel slavery in America. Perhaps it was thought that this day would never come. Yet, the hope for freedom for all remained.

We live in a world today where there are many freedoms to hope and work towards; the freedom from systemic racism, sexism, and police brutality to name just a few. Sometimes we might even lose heart and get overwhelmed and wonder, “will these freedoms ever come?”

The story of the ripple comes to mind. When rocks are tossed into bodies of water they might eventually turn into waves. It was the collective ripples of work and hope that turned into the news of freedom for the enslaved people of Texas. It is our collective ripples of work and hope that will turn into waves of justice.

In our work to bring an end to injustices of all kinds, let us remember that we have the power of God in our “ripples.” This is the same God that helped Moses and Joshua deliver the people of Israel from the cruel hand of Pharaoh. Yes, it is okay to have feelings of discouragement as we work for the freedoms of all. But, let us also remember that God is in our “ripples of hope,” a hope that even brings about the celebration of Juneteenth.