Good and Pleasant

Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity! ––Psalm 133:1

Last week, after a few hundred torch-wielding racists dominated the headlines, a friend texted me, “Just thought of you and Laurie. Do you think we should have a community prayer gathering?” It was a great idea. My wheels started spinning.

I shot off a couple emails and messages to local pastors and friends. We need to pray together. We need to mourn these evil expressions of racism and ask God to “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Our City Councilwomen loved the idea, and before I knew it, the Memorial Plaza was reserved––complete with police protection and a sound system. Another friend volunteered to write a series of prayers and Scripture meditations to serve as a guide.

And then I got an unexpected phone call.

The NAACP was also planning a prayer vigil, and both groups had already laid fairly solid plans by the time we knew we were running parallel. So I called a business owner whose personal mission is connecting the dots of Orangeburg. He brilliantly suggested that since both events were already planned, we could simply promote them as a “series of prayer gatherings.” He put me in touch with the local NAACP president, and later that day, I was sitting down in her office discussing how we could pull this off––together.

We gathered for prayer on Sunday night at the historic Trinity UMC where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had addressed the congregation in 1959. The prayer vigil was scheduled just one hour before New City’s monthly preview service, so an apologetic group of New City folks had to leave early. Then on Wednesday night, we all met at the Memorial Plaza downtown where we joined generations of believers who have gathered there to pray for unity and peace in Jesus’ name.

I love it when God pulls a plan together.

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