December 3, 2020
The second week of Advent: PEACE
By Molli Mitchell (YDS MDiv and ANS diploma student ‘22)
Molli’s reflection is in the form of a photo essay, which can be found at the bottom of her reflection and on Facebook. About this photo essay, Molli writes:
One of the domestic violence agencies I used to work for in the early aughts had a slogan that emphasized peace began at home. Out of the sheer magnitude of calls, requests for crisis response, and conversations over late-night coffee at the shelter dinner tables, I used to wonder if there was anyone alive who wasn’t touched by interpersonal violence. Yet the ability to provide care, a brief respite, and a fresh new start for just a few of the survivors offered my wary belief system a glimmer of what peace could someday look like for a select few. It was a communal task.
Our encounter within the US/MX borderlands told the story of those fleeing violence and brutality seeking asylum, of embodied hope in a desolate land. The same questions of peace and for whom were conjured up for me, albeit on an international scale. How does one rest in God’s peace with atrocity all around? Are these barren slopes the hills from where our help comes? When human systems inevitably fail, when safety is on the other side of an impenetrable wall, when death is so close, how do we take up the task of peace-building communally?
This post is dedicated to the memory of Erick Gonzalez-Mejia, aka Kingo, my mentee of the last 4 years and a DACA Dreamer (12/25/1998-9/29/2020), pictured in the commissioned mural in image 12. Words aren’t coming easily to me in this season of grief, so I hope that these photos can do the talking for me.
Molli Mitchell, MDiv ‘22