Sunday, September 15, 2019

A sad milestone

This week we held our 125th Take Back the Site prayer vigil, reclaiming for nonviolence a place in our city that was the site of a recent homicide.

Since November 1999 we have been sponsoring these and if you have attended a number of them, as most of us have, there are repetitions in the stories and circumstances that are all too familiar. That's why this latest one stands out--it was very unique from all the others.

Quoting from the Words of Comfort, written and read by one of our sisters, "Michael (who was 23) was from Michigan, visiting Erie briefly. No one seems to have a clear idea of why he was here or for how long. Someone somewhere is mourning his loss but for most of us, he was a stranger to our city--no obituary to read or guest book to sign in our local newspaper, no calling hours in a local funeral parlor, no family or neighbors to come forward to acknowledge his loss and be comforted by our care."

Once again a group gathered along a busy street and mourned the loss of a human life in our city. Over the years we have had multiple homicides in the same families and have lost many, many young men. Commonly the venues are disputes on the streets outside business establishments, often fueled by anger and alcohol or another drug. But Michael's case was special and although there were no family or friends present, the sadness was the same, the prayers as sincere, and the mourning deeply touching each soul. Rest in peace, Michael.

The day after a heavy rainstorm with fierce winds passing through our region,
our neighbors congregated under two oak trees and feasted on the acorns
that were all along the smaller tree limbs that fell during the windstorm.