Skip to main content
Offerings from Exile

Arriving at 38th and Chicago

By June 9, 2020No Comments

Arriving at 38th and Chicago – May 31, 2020
by Jessie Johnson 

A makeshift memorial fills the block–
A slow caravan of pilgrims walk the way of the cross to our new Golgotha.
Cardboard signs hastily scribbled with the Gospel truth that Black Lives Matter–
Scripture for our times.

A circle of flowers where George Floyd, devoted father, was pinned to the ground, neck under knee–
This is my body.
A circle of flowers where George Floyd, beloved son, cried out for his mother–
This is my body.
A circle of flowers where George Floyd, kind spirit, pled a desperate litany of “I can’t breathe”–
This is my body.

Charcoal grills fired up and smoking on the periphery–
Offerings on altars, offered for the community.
A short woman hands out hot meals to hungry pilgrims–
This is my body.
Tables overflow with food for the taking, donated after the local grocery store burned–
This is my body.

This is a new Pentecost.
Crowds gather, embracing, proclaiming the Gospel of “no justice, no peace”. Emotions our languages, too numerous to count–
Anger, fear, mistrust, hope, grief, despair, wonder, guilt.
The Spirit descends and we all understand–
These are all languages of love.
Of death.
Of resurrection.

This is my body.


For more information on Jessie Johnson, contact: @jessieinez on Twitter and Instagram 

photos courtesy of Jered Weber Johnson