Praying With Our Feet: MLK Day Revisited

This morning my partner Kevin, my friend Michelle and I loaded up our 2 kids with winter gear and put the little one in the stroller. We said goodbye to my partner (who was speaking/preaching at a separate MLK event) and headed to join a spirited crew at Allen Lane train station to head into center city. My 4-yr-old chatted happily with his new friends on the train ride in, and everyone gave me a hand with my stroller on the countless up and down stair trips required for subway and train transfers. Finally we arrived at Broad and Spring Garden, early. We broke out our snacks and shared them family-style. 
This is my point: we shared them family-style. 
We shared the whole MLK march family-style. 
Family means the older kids hold onto the younger kids' hands. Family means one mom picks up another mom's kid when the other mom has run out of hands. Family means we are different and we don't have the same story, but we are all showing up together because we care. Family means we aren't perfect. Family means we all celebrate our accomplishments together with donuts one person purchased. Family means we count heads to make sure all kids made it on board the train. We chant "Black Lives Matter" together. We keep eyes out for each other. We head home together on the train. 
When Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marched with Dr Martin Luther King Jr on Selma, he said he was "praying with his feet." (I will attach a song I wrote about that! Remind me!) 
These families, who banded together within the family contingent of this Reclaim MLK Day D.A.R.E. (Day of Action, Resistance and Empowerment) - which had a turnout of 7,000 people total today! - here in Philadelphia showed my children what it feels like to pray with people who are not the same as you: not the same race, not the same religion, not attending the same schools. But we traveled the road together as a small band of family, praying with our feet and speaking with our hearts. I was blessed to be in this small band, and as we grow together within this new yet old BlackLivesMatter movement, I know that the way we walk through the world is leaving messages for our children with every step. With every day our children are making more of the messages, learning the issues, and speaking out against the injustice. Happy Birthday Dr King, and may the core of your message resound in the minds and hearts of all the families - blood and community - who showed up for justice today. And will show up again tomorrow. 

1 comment

  • Sarah Carlisle
    Sarah Carlisle
    Beautiful words, Chana! Love...

    Beautiful words, Chana! Love...

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