Last Sunday, I went to church in my pajamas and moccassins, hair rumpled, hot coffee and buttered bread in hand. The doves were mourning, calling out to each other- I know... I know.... ooooh, oooh, I know. I know. The ground was thawing, daffodils trying to be reborn. Chickadees called across the roof tops, tree to tree as I broke bread, raised my glass, and pondered the wonders of resurrection.
This Sunday, I dressed in red.
It was an outdoor service, on the grounds of the Winnipeg Legislative grounds.
We sang- "Soli, soli, Solidarity", standing shoulder to shoulder in red, some holding plackards reading; "Bring Back Our Girls!"
I noted a red sign that listed the names of all the girls who had been taken. Girls who had mothers, this Mother's Day. Girls who were somebody's babies.
There were prayers. Prayers to Jesus, prayers to Allah.
We were all asking for the same thing- rescue. Peace, reunions with mothers, protection.
It was impossible to hold back the tears.
We mothers stood together with the fathers, the sisters, the brothers, the uncles, the aunties. Our voices joined together- bring back our girls! as I tried to imagine being that mom. The one who must agonize over her daughter now in sexual slavery, just for pursuing her education, her right to learn.
And it wasn't about Islam, or Christianity, or just Nigeria. We stood all together for our girls, regardless of where they are born, or what faith they are born into. No one should suffer for their desire for education. No one should be stolen in the dead of the night, taken from their families, taken from a life of choice and purpose.
I like to think it was hope that brought us together. Hope for the girls, hope for peace, hope for living in unity, in spite of our diversity.
I don't know where I will do church next Sunday. I may mourn with the doves. I may hold a sign with strangers. I may read Nadia Boltz-Weber or Rachel Held Evans, or Glennon Doyle. I may do none of those things. But my hope is- to seek justice. To love mercy. And to walk humbly with my God.
I'm still learning what that looks like.