What if . . .

photo courtesy of sfgate.com

What if . . .

we raised our hands with love and attention,

we offered our prayers with concern and commitment,

we held back judgment,

gave others the benefit of the doubt,

stood for justice,

and meant it,

from the soles of our feet to the tops our heads?


What if . . .

we humbled ourselves,

truly humbled ourselves,

and said, yes, I’m to blame, too,

I’ve given tacit approval to racism,

to classism,

to sexism,

to all kinds of isms

and prejudices

and fear-based opinions?


What if . . .

we earnestly sought for reconciliation,

with a willingness to pay the price,

whatever it might be?


What if we listened,

really listened,

to generations of accumulated pain,

to the voices of those who have no voice,

to the ones who are caught in the web

of evil or poverty or severe systemic dysfunction?


And what if . . .

we prayed up leaders,

real leaders,

with hearts and souls

and good, good minds,

people who would search for 

lasting answers and real solutions?


Do you think it would help?

Would we learn to see each other?

To hear each other?

To tolerate each other

and appreciate differences

as well as similarities?


O, I hope so.

I pray so.


I’m listening.

I’m learning.

I want to grow in grace,

to lean into the love of Jesus,

to offer a cup of cold water 

and work for peace.

Will you raise hands with me?

And with all who are suffering tonight,

in Ferguson, in Gaza, in Iraq,

wherever hatred and fear rule?

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  1. Raising my hands with you in worshiping our God and going there. I shared my perspective as Ferguson is my neighboring community.

    Https: http://www.kellyanngreer.blogspot.com

  2. I love you so, Diana Trautwein. Thank you for this.

  3. Gwen Acres says

    Convicting my complacency. Thank you Diana for your powerful words that stir us to love “…wherever hatred and fear rule”.

  4. Raising hands with you, indeed.

  5. I’m praying with you, Diana.

  6. It is a huge What If…
    I have more questions than answers. But the answers I have glimpsed make this “What If” gesture of raising hands so important and so difficult to maintain.
    Learders in our society follow the people. We are the ones whom the leaders follow. The solutions will come from us, in our willingness to listen, learn, lean, love, and serve.
    Yes, I will raise my hands with you, listen with you, learn with you and work with you.

    • I have more questions than answers, too, Newell. It’s tough and complicated and endemic in so many systems in this land and in this world. Thanks for standing here with me, arms in the air, heart to God.

  7. ro elliott says

    YES YES!!!! Times like these challenge our belief about prayer… most of us are so far away from these horrific situations… so can we “gather” together … with one heart… the heart of God and boldly go before His Throne of Grace and mercy in the great time of need. I think I go… go in the measure I believe it has value… to be honest… right now… boldly is not where I am… but maybe these quiet places in our hearts need more attention… speaking to God first… shouting to the one who has all wisdom… and love… being emptied out so we can go boldly before God… and than… maybe than… boldly into this broken world around us!!
    I am listening too… wanting to learn and most importably…I too want to grow in grace and Love!!!
    Thanks Diana…

    • It’s one of the things I value most about the internet – this ‘gathering together’ of the body across time and geography. Thanks for listening with me, Ro.

  8. Diana,
    I have so often found comfort and wisdom in your words. I so pray that the dialogue could be more about listening, and empathizing rather than polarizing and taking sides. We all suffer when we retreat to opposing corners.
    Praise God for your calming voice in all the noise. Thank you for going there. Thank God for your obedient servant’s heart.
    In peace,

  9. I haven’t been able to words to the thoughts swirling around in my head Diana. Thank you so much for these.

  10. YES!!!!

  11. Oh…amen to this. Amen, with hands raised. Amen.

  12. Raising hands and raising prayers. May God’s plan unfold. May His mercy reign over us.
    Blessings, Diana!

  13. Yes, m’am. I’m raising my hands… dropping them only long enough to wrap my arms in holy hugs.

  14. Yes. We have the choice of what to offer others. Do we choose to see them as innocent children of God, hurt, confused, needing? Or as their actions when they lash out? Listening, praying, hoping.

  15. As I read your post, I saw in my mind’s eye a great crowd of believers. Some were your readers; others were people within the circle of influence around each reader. I visualized one person standing with hands raised to God, saying, “Yes, Lord Jesus. Let peace and change begin with me.” Slowly other folks stood, raising THEIR hands and their voices in unison with the first. And then those raised arms began to lower in order to embrace one another. On and on in ever-increasing concentric circles, the raised arms lowered to embrace others until thousands were united in heart and purpose.

    Perhaps it’s too grand a dream to come true. But with God all things are possible! So, yes, Diana, in my little corner of the world I’ll raise my hands in worship, I’ll raise my heart in prayer, I’ll raise my voice in praise of the One and Only who can stop the suffering in Ferguson, Gaza, Iraq, and elsewhere. Maranatha, Lord Jesus!
    And thank you, Diana, for this strong dose of inspiration and hope.

    • What a beautiful picture, Nancy!!! Thanks so much for offering it here. And thanks, as always, for your kindness and encouragement.