Spiritual Practice


Rachel Starr Thomson

When I was seven, my father took me to a barricaded road in Oka, a little town in Quebec. The barricades had been erected on one side by Mohawks and on the other by soldiers and police. On both sides stood men with guns.

A soldier and a Mohawk warrior face off during the Oka Crisis, September 1, 1990

The Mohawks had erected their barricades to stop the town from building a golf course and luxury homes around their centuries-old cemetery. The story is full of prejudice, broken promises, hatred, stubbornness, racism, and political expediency—so tangled that I don’t know how to take sides.

In 2010, twenty years after this standoff caused a Canadian crisis, I visited the Mohawk cemetery with three friends. We stood in the middle of the cemetery and prayed, “Thy kingdom come.” In those three words is the answer to all injustice, prejudice, and hatred, all isms, and every complex political tangle. In God’s kingdom, those who were opposed to one another are united in one body. In God’s kingdom, justice is done and mercy is celebrated.

I am grateful for my visits to Oka. And I’m glad that because of Christ, I will one day see the end of the story, which will turn out just as it should.

And the Lord will become king over all the earth; on that day the Lord will be one and his name one.
Zechariah 14:9 (NRSV)


PRAY FOR PEACE: When you see or read about conflicts in which people are tangled up in injustice, prejudice, and hatred, pray, “Thy kingdom come.”

—from devozine (September/October 2011). Copyright © 2011 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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