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White Rose

February 16, 2017

Dear God, please bless all those whose resistance cannot be publicized. I have known many wonderful administrative assistants and secretaries in my life. They know how things get done. I have been thinking since November that there are women and men behind desks who will misfile things, forget attachments, or otherwise slow down the implementation of new unjust policies. Or perhaps make information known, when not doing so would endanger our democracy. These people probably will not get to feel the life-giving solidarity that is shared at rallies, or to feel the appreciation of others who thank them for their work. Instead, I suspect, their resistance is lonely, and perhaps frightening. I suspect it stems from a sense of duty, patriotism, and an unwillingness to lose one's self through acquiescence.

During WWII, there were several different means of protest. While some people hid Jewish families in the attic, others forged papers, and others publicly denounced the Nazis. One group of resistors, called the White Rose, was made up mostly of about five college students and one philosophy professor. They dared to have conversations on campus, and to produce a series of leaflets urging nonviolent resistance to Hitler. It must have been both tempting and maddening to think that printing some leaflets couldn't really make a difference. Yet they did it anyway. Eventually, the members of the White Rose were caught, to be executed or imprisoned.

We don't look back at the White Rose group today and critique their methods. Well, that might not have been the most efficient or the most effective, or reach the widest audience, or, or, or. Instead, we look to them with honor and hold them up as examples of ordinary citizens who--in the ways available to them--tried to prevent harm and foster justice.

For those honorable people who use whatever means available to slow the implementation of unjust policies, I give thanks. For those faithful people who use the tools at hand to protect human lives and American democracy--even though no one will ever know--I pray. You know what they are up to, God. Give them guidance and strength.Grant then discernment and protect them from temptations towards power. Keep close to their hearts the principles and peoples who would be swiftly damaged by the new political realities in D.C. Protect them, sustain them. Grant them determination and a strong guiding hand. And somehow give them joy. Amen.

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© 2017 by Shannon Craigo-Snell