The nation is undergoing a tumultuous time and the frenzy is spreading with no end in sight. The decision to not indict the officers in the Ferguson and Eric Garner cases is setting off a chain reaction that has now taken hold of Congress.
Congressional staffers staged a massive walk out on Thursday afternoon in an effort to demonstrate their support of the protesters who are currently taking occupying key areas all over the country.
Barry Black, the Senate chaplain, led staffers onto the steps of the Capitol where they all stood, holding their hands up in solidarity.
Other staffers echoed their support for their colleagues – Rep. Elijah Cummings expressed the overall sentiment regarding the walk out, “These congressional staffers put in incredibly long hours, night, and weekends working to pass legislation to help people live better lives, so I fully support them taking a few moments today to pray with the Senate chaplain for Congress to take action to ensure that all Americans are treated equally before the law.”
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) December 11, 2014
Transcript of Black’s prayer during the Congressional Staffers walkout below:
We’re gathered here today so that we can be the voice for the voiceless. We believe that there is a power that has fueled our nation toward excellence through the centuries. And we are here today to take advantage of the free exercise rights guaranteed to us by the framers and founders of this nation. And we begin this gathering with prayer. So let us pray.
Eternal God, our hope for years to come.
We thank you that your presence has sustained this nation throughout the seasons of its existence. You have brought America through many challenging times. Today as people throughout the nation protest for justice in our land, forgive us when we have failed to lift our voices for those who couldn’t speak or breathe for themselves. May we not forget that in our national history injustice has often been maintained because good people failed to promptly act.
Forgive, O God, our culpability in contributing to our national pathology as you keep us aware of our own capacity to be instruments of injustice. Immunize us from that self-righteousness that blames everyone but ourselves. Lord, comfort those who mourn, who know the pain of loss, the anguish of grief and the futility of despair. Remind us that earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal. Protect and guide your people who gather here today.
May the words of our mouths, the meditations of our hearts, and the activity of our limbs be acceptable to you, O God, our rock and redeemer. We pray this in your sovereign name. Amen and Amen.