Salvationists from 9 corps across London joined with friends and neighbours in a powerful act of solidarity in anxious times. Here’s a reflection from someone who took part.
Guest post by Lieutenant Lee Raggett
Yesterday London Citizens joined together to stand outside 30 stations across London to change a dark narrative that has been stirring in the city. Some say it’s a result of the ‘leave’ decision – others say that it’s been there all along. We stood because we believe in a different story!
I stood because my friend A was told to ‘f off back to Poland’ – she’s German and she works hard helping mums to be and sitting with new mums through difficult early days of parenting. I stood because I heard the British-African lady crying into her phone in fear of hatred. I stood because I saw the young Polish mum take abuse at the checkout. I couldn’t change her attackers hatred but I could show her love. I stood because I believe that in the end love is stronger than hate.
Across London voices were used and the word ‘love’ was uttered over and over again. London dwellers from all over the globe stood in different locations with this message of love. Some gave out flowers. Some just had stickers but we all had a huge ‘you are welcome here’ smile on our face! And it felt a little like doing a heart massage to a city in cardiac arrest. Each sticker taken, each conversation had and each beautiful smile shared showing that we are all much more interested in love. I saw a new story being birthed, a sense of hope that maybe there is #NoPlaceForHate. I experienced what it feels like to have someone tell you to ‘go home’ when really this is home – it’s your home and it’s my home and we are all citizens who belong.
I read this not ten minutes after handing out my last sticker: ‘The biggest concern for any organisation should be when their most passionate people become quiet.’
So yesterday was great but how am I going to make my voice heard today?
Lee Raggett is seeking hard after the Jesus way of living with my husband and two children. We are working out what love, hospitality, home and belonging look like as we serve as officers in Stratford.