We are the grace we’re looking for


Thursday, June 4, 2020

Like my comrade Anne, I’m an indoor kid. George Floyd’s memorial service was today at North Central University, a Pentecostal college, in a building I pass every day on my quarantine sanity walks. The most time I’ve spent outside in three months was this afternoon, when I sat on the curb to listen to the service.

Maybe you are, or have known, someone who’s been in a 12-step recovery program. You might know that these programs usually ask members to believe in God or, as many participants put it, a higher power. People have many ways of articulating what their higher power is beyond gods as we usually know them; some that I’ve heard are the collective will of the universe, the voice of your best self, or the will of the people in your recovery community. I don’t know why, but I remembered this sitting on the curb today.

This afternoon, we heard a performance of Amazing Grace, and we heard pastors asking God to give the Floyd family supernatural comfort and grace, and all of us respite, healing, resilience, strength, hope, light, the power to keep fighting, help to reconcile our failed witness and change our hearts. I’m a good-without-God type myself, raised by atheists. Sometimes prayers feel alienating. If that’s you too, maybe what I thought as I listened will be useful to you: there’s nothing they asked for on the stage today that we can’t give each other. I get it, and do my best to give it back, from my community (thank you, comrades) and from seeing acts of care and bravery around me — this week more than ever.

A guy with the Minneapolis Mad Dads, masked up, walked by and spritzed our palms with sanitizer where we sat, like we were receiving a sacrament. That’s the smallest of the acts of care I’m talking about, and we’re seeing them all around us right now, brought to us by us. When we can trust each other for protection, strength, and hope, we are the grace we’re looking for.

– Tracy W.