Katie Gaultney – Praying for peace

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Tuesday, June 2nd. Good morning! You’re listening to The World and Everything in It and we are so glad you are! I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. The unrest that has rippled across the country reached Dallas over the weekend. WORLD’s correspondent Katie Gaultney is based there and decided to offer some help.

KATIE GAULTNEY, COMMENTATOR: Most of the time, when something feels wrong in my day-to-day, I can fix it. Write a sentence that feels clunky? Edit it. Kids are leaving their shoes all over the house? Shoe basket saves the day. Solutions comfort me like a warm, fuzzy blanket.

But last week, my heart was heavy over a problem I couldn’t fix. George Floyd’s death in police custody laid open America’s racial wounds yet again. 

Then Friday night, I watched helplessly from my computer as a peaceful rally in downtown Dallas devolved into flash bangs, rioting, and brick-throwing. I ached over what I saw happening in my hometown.

I woke up Saturday to photos of glass-littered sidewalks in downtown Dallas and the nearby Deep Ellum neighborhood. So much of last week, I thought, “What can I do? What do I have to offer that can help heal these hurts?” 

The answer is nothing, and yet everything, at the same time. Only God can truly heal these wounds, but everything I have should be available for the God-given mandate of Micah 6:8: Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with Him. God has the power to change hearts, but I must act.

So I grabbed my kitchen broom, work gloves, and some trash bags. I put on my work boots and a shirt from my church that says, “Seek the welfare of the city” (Jeremiah 29), and I drove to Deep Ellum.

By the time I got there, people had already cleaned up most of the glass. Plywood covered busted windows. 

The manager of a barber shop whose giant window had been shattered spoke to me through a cloth mask. With clippers in hand, Adelina Martinez said business owners were out all night boarding up windows and trying to stave off looting. She understood the anger that spurred the protest, but she doesn’t understand the tactics: 

ADELINA: Trying to cure violence with violence, it seems like, which isn’t the answer.

My contribution to the clean-up effort was minimal. But I did pray for two police officers—one black, one white—who were spending their morning writing up burglary and criminal mischief reports.

As I walked back to my car, I met David Sullivan. We saw each other and laughed, since he and I were both walking around clutching our kitchen brooms. David is black. He lives in the neighborhood and told me he had been at the protests the night before. The vast majority were peaceful, but he observed a few—quote-unquote—“knuckleheads” who hijacked the event. 

Both of David’s parents are police officers. Like me, he felt helpless. 

DAVID: It’s just such a weird dynamic, it’s hard to—it’s just tough, man. I just hope something comes out of it…

David and I don’t need to have all the answers. Today I resolve to lean into my discomfort. To learn more. To pray more. To continue training my four children in truth—including truth about the grievous sin of racism. I’m asking the Lord to help me stand up for individuals and groups facing injustice. 

And I pray we as believers may fulfill the calling of Romans 12: Let our love be genuine and brotherly, let us abhor evil, cling to good, and outdo one another in showing honor.

I’m Katie Gaultney.

(Photo/Katie Gaultney) David Sullivan lives in Dallas’ Deep Ellum neighborhood, targeted by rioters Friday and Saturday nights. Sullivan walked around with his broom Saturday morning to help businesses owners clean up the glass and debris left in the wake of the violent protests.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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One comment on “Katie Gaultney – Praying for peace

  1. Hi Katie,

    I like your work.
    I wonder if your husband is interested in ancestry. If so, check gwaltney.faithweb.com.

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