Reflections on Being at Sand Creek

July 13, 2023
He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” - Luke 19:40

On Monday, June 26th, 11 friends from across our Mountain Sky connection, made our way to the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site. It was really a beautiful day, hot, but the gentle breeze made it quite comfortable. It was quiet and peaceful, so at times, it was almost difficult to imagine the loud and heart wrenching sounds that came forth from this scared land on November 29, 1864. While standing in the silence, I asked someone if it is possible that some of these trees were here during the massacre. "Yes." 

Oh, what the trees can witness. Oh God, what the tress witness! This then made me think of the magnolia trees that witnessed thousands of racial terror lynchings. 

Jesus said that the "stones would cry out" in the context of praise, that if we don't offer praise, the rocks will cry out. I wonder, I wonder if it could be that the rocks, the land, the trees will cry out the injustice, if we don't. I wonder if the trees, that witness the horror at Sand Creek and all the places we reside at, will remind us of our history in ways that will commit us to live in community in new and better ways. 

Some may say that history is history and ask why do we have to always talk about the past. Why can't we move on? The trees are still among us and they remind us of our history. They can help us remember so that we never forget our commitment to dismantling harmful, degrading, demeaning systems and participating in the building God's kindom, that is beloved community. 

I am just one voice of 11 others who journeyed together. I am grateful for their reflections and prayers that were shared during our time together. 

A reflection from Rev. Bich Thy (Betty) Nguyen, Superintendent of Nurturing Leadership and Belonging