God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
– 1 Corinthians 12: 24b-27
The crowd has dispersed. The narrow avenue to Ft. Benning is no longer lined with idealistic rabble-rousers, politicized street vendors, and revolutionary artists. Lingering notes of Freedom Songs are no longer lifted into on the voices of the people. The veterans, feminists, Buddhists, Christians, communists, Nuns, Monks, puppetistas, musicians, survivors and allies no longer obscure the pavement of the road. Save for a small contingency of folk who remained behind to help break down the stage, and the blessed, courageous souls who leapt over the fence to get arrested, those in attendance at the vigil have returned (or are in the process of returning) into the myriad worlds from which they came.
For a moment, we converged. For a moment we felt our deep connection to people we had never seen before, who moved in us and through us and with us, who made themselves present in embodied art and song and witness. For a moment we lifted our ideals, our rebellion, our resistance into the heart of a body much larger than anything any one of us could ever hope to become.
Names of the disappeared and the murdered were lifted into the clear blue sky, and after each name, we collectively sang the refrain presente, invoking each individual life and existence, each individual heartbreak and joy, into this sacred space. Each of us carried a wooden cross, lifting it into the air as each name was brought forward, as we walked in solemn procession to the chain link gate of Ft. Benning. And then we wove the crosses into the fence, each cross on top of another, until we could no longer distinguish one cross from the next – until what had before been the chain link fence of a military base was now a collage of names and ages and hopes and dreams and outrage and suffering and joy and wisdom and witness. We became a body – Christ’s body – and we lay that body at the entrance of the School of the Americas.
Now, however, we disperse. We go into the world, carrying the brokenness of our brothers and sisters with us. For a moment, we come together and are one body. If we are to share witness to the body of Christ that lies within us, then we must break the body we have created apart. We must go into the world as the broken body of Christ and offer our whole beings as the transforming bread and the liberating cup.