Yesterday I participated in the Women’s March in Chicago. I said march but we actually just rallied in place as this unseasonably, fifty degree, January day swelled from the expected attendance of fifty thousand to two hundred and fifty thousand. My church organized a group of women to carry the banner of St. Paul and the Redeemer, as we joined in supporting women’s rights. Personally I was marching for civility, respect and courtesy among humanity. I think we’ve ventured away from those values since last November.
Because of the crowd, I was not initially able to connect with my sisters from church. So I sat twenty rows from the stage engaging with others yet feeling a little lonesome. I knew the plan was for a peaceful march. But would people who opposed what we were doing try to disrupt the day? I must admit I was concerned. However, there was a moment between texting and emailing my friends that I felt amazingly comforted; the women of my context and ancestry had shown up to be with me. I felt the strength of my grandmother, Velma, who was a steel magnolia of the south and the confidence of my mother, Loyce, who was always ready for any challenge. I drew from the support Miriam the prophetess gave to her brother Moses; and the female Moses, Harriett Tubman as the both gathered their people and led them to freedom.
I soon located a couple of my friends and even saw someone from the rehab center I hadn’t expected to see. I was able to feel truly engaged while listening to the speakers: a victim of rape, supporters of equality for women in all aspects of life, health care, jobs and homes; and oh yes, the icing on the cake, a performance from the cast members of “Hamilton”.
I stood, okay, sat, in solidarity with women who are like me and women who were different. I chatted with men and tickled small children and joined in agreement with millions of people around the world who peacefully came together around the hopes and desires of women.
And as usual God was right there with me, taking care of my every need.