Only half of us stood up, and that was because we couldn’t reach each other to be able to hold hands otherwise. The other half of the room stayed seated. I looked down at my toes, initially wondering if my clammy palms would be noticeable to the women on my left and right.
But then, looking at my flip flops and the sandals of the women on either side of me, and then the various shoes of those around the room, (not that I was peaking during the prayer) I immediately flashed back to several years ago in the mountains of Nicaragua. We were in a small church in Matagalpa at the end of a Sunday morning service, and the congregation was praying for us and us for them. I remembered during that prayer too, holding hands and sweating, looking down at all those toes. Shoes were pointed toward each other making a makeshift circle, hands held, prayers offered for one another and those not even present.
Tonight, our circle joined that circle years ago in Matagalpa. It will join the circles of the generations to follow as it joins the circles of generations past. It joins the circles and sweaty palms of my friends in Cape Town, England, Korea, China, Seattle, Texas, Atlanta, Spain, and the globe over. Our sweaty palms and pointed toes join each others as we look over the words of those who tried their hardest to follow Christ early on and ask what it means to follow him now. Our sweaty palms and pointed toes join each others as we work to learn what it means to hold onto truth, push the boundaries of hospitality, ask the questions of justice, and pray the words of hope.
Sweaty palms and pointed toes. There’s little magical about it, and yet it’s in these small circles that the world is changed.
The world is changed even as we are looking at our toes.
Pine Tree Dr.