Last night I went to Bible Study. (That’s not my norm, I’m more of a magazine on the couch Wednesday night kind of gal, but my husband has been leading it and he really wanted me to come.) We were reading about Elijah. He’d stood up to Ahab and Jezebel and proved the power of God. In a feat of faith and courage he had put the followers of false gods to shame. He’d won! He’d defeated the false priests! He was full of strength and power! And then Jezebel threatened to kill him, and in a moment he was filled with terror and he ran and ran and ran, looking for a place to hide. But God was with him, even in his flight. And when Elijah had rested and eaten and come to himself God told him 2 things: there was more work to be done and that he was not alone. There were thousands of people who shared his beliefs. There was more to do. And he was not alone.
This week there are funerals in Charleston and memorials throughout the state. We have cried and marched and held hands. We are weary with grief and work and solidarity and we’d really like it to be over now. There is talk of the confederate flag coming down. I mean, isn’t this a win? Not yet. Despite the beauty of the symbolism there is more work to be done. We are tired. But we are not alone. Let’s catch our breath, take care of ourselves, celebrate the lives of those we’ve loved and lost as well as the lives of those who we love and still have with us. Let’s look for beauty and strive for joy. Practice gratitude for the sunrise and bird songs and good meals. But let’s not forget: this week’s memorials are not the end. They are monuments to the work we must continue to do. Together.