Monday, April 3, 2017

The first Saturday we were in New Orleans, I went to a peace rally at St. Roch Park, not far from where we are staying. About 30 people were gathering in a corner of the scruffy park. Though a stranger, I was welcomed warmly and soon understood that there had recently been a violent incident involving young people at the park. A neighborhood matriarch prayed vigorously for a cleansing of the space so people would feel safe there again. A man spoke of his ’20 in Angola’ prison and said he was there because he didn’t want kids to go through what he had. Another man, in a wheelchair, asked for help to get a boxing club started in the area. A 6 year old Lakota boy performed a traditional hoop dance. A Buddhist monk chanted. As we were getting ready to walk, a teenage girl stepped up, turned to the crowd and sang passionately, “There is power in the name of Jesus to break the chains, break the chains, break the chains.” I believe I was not the only one who felt God’s voice coming through her song.

 

Bonnie Bishop