You didn’t hear about the #March4Peace on the 11pm news last night. It wasn’t written about in your Sunday paper today. It didn’t make the CNN crawl or trend on Twitter. But the #March4Peace had an impact in so many little ways. I call it a victorious day!
A robust gathering of moms, dads, kids, and single women gathered Saturday morning in Freedom Park. Some came from as far away as Cherokee County. Others lived around the corner. There were some who came out whom I had never met (like Dave Soleil) and had seen the posting shared on social media. Others were some of my best friends who I can count on to show up when the important stuff happens. (One actually postponed her trip out of town to be there.)
We gathered together and heard from Danae Aicher, the national director of communications for Mocha Moms Inc, who helped to remind us that Michael Brown could have been our son, and that Ferguson, MO could have been our city. She implored us to continue to push for justice for Michael Brown and for us all. Then, after a quick prayer that the #March4Peace would touch the hearts of people we would never know, we were off!
We walked about 1.2 miles along the Freedom Trail to Historic Fourth Ward Park. But this wasn’t like most “protest” marches. We pushed strollers and pulled wagons, and kids rode on their father’s shoulders or their mother’s back. We stopped to tie shoes, laughed at our silly kids, and make sure everyone crossed the street safely. We chatted about schools and weekend plans, as well as about how to talk to our kids about tragic events like what happened in Ferguson, MO. Cars beeped at us in support and occupants waved as they drove by. Some Saturday morning exercisers even asked to join in the march saying, “We believe in peace. Can we walk too?” To which we answered without hesitation, “Yes!” A hardcore runner stopped his run and crossed the street to pat us all on the back. He said he couldn’t do much but we deserved a pat on the back.
The #March4Peace ended at an awesome “sprayground”. We were met with popsicles, juice boxes, apple sauce packets and ice cold water, all of which were welcomed as temperatures soared past 90 degrees. The kids scrambled to get into water or go to the playground and the adults got a chance to talk. The #March4Peace was part protest march, part play date, part community event. It brought together people from different races, backgrounds and areas of the city, and got us all talking about the larger issues of race, class, police tactics, and the “new” civil rights movement.
I’m sure that someone else could have planned this march better. Someone else could have gotten more people there. Someone else could have probably done a better job all around. But I think of myself like the Little Drummer Boy, as someone who didn’t have much to offer but gave the best of himself to honor Jesus. I can’t do much, but what I can do I will. I hope Jesus is smiling.
PRAY FOR PEACE. EVERYWHERE.