I spent November 12th and 13th of this year in solidarity with the Occupy Portland movement in response to the Mayor’s demand that the protesters leave Lownsdale and Chapman parks.


Politics aside, there were many times during the day and night when I saw God’s presence in the faces of strangers. I saw God’s presence when I witnessed a police officer respectfully assist a disabled veteran protester out of an area in the camp that was being dismantled to a place of safety. When I saw police and protesters work together to clean the park on Saturday before the deadline.


I saw God’s presence in the faces of countless people as they stood in solidarity for what they believed in. People who otherwise would not have come together. People joined in a common cause. A unified group who will carry forever the memory of that night and the realization that just because we are different it does not mean we cannot be united.


I saw God’s presence when I stood on a street corner and listened to about twenty people including members of the clergy singing, “How can anyone ever tell you you are anything less than beautiful?” Everywhere I looked the air was energized by that intangible presence we all feel at times. That sense that there is something greater than ourselves standing with us, surrounding us, a part of our lives that is always there even if we are not always consciously aware of it. The presence of God.

Kevin Melvin