This isn’t a post I want to write; for many reasons, really, but I can’t not write. I didn’t want to write it because my words feel inadequate, my feelings are so muddied with grief, anger, disbelief, confusion, numbness, and much more. I don’t think I can be articulate and polished. As if there is a way to polish senseless murders. Even days later, it is hard to process.
I feel inadequate to write because my voice is not as important. There are many who have suffered more deeply, been hurt more personally, felt more afraid than me. Still, I have a voice and I must use it – in whatever way I can – to speak against this. This murder of human beings.
We live in a culture of death. Every day we are reminded, subtly and not so subtly, of our mortality. We grieve again and again when our friends, our brothers, are killed. They are killed because of their skin color. They are killed because of prejudice. They are killed because of mental illness. They are killed because of their job. They are killed because of religious beliefs. They are killed because of sexual orientation. They are killed just because.
A simple blog post in an obscure part of the internet is not going to change the world. My feelings are not going to change the world. Facebook filters, twitter hashtags, and moments of silence are not going to change the world.
The world will change when millions of people, like us, gather together and take small steps towards relationships. We grieve together, we share meals together, we fight injustice on our blocks, in our schools, in our neighborhoods, at our churches, in our government, and everywhere in between. We fight because we have a purpose greater than our safety and comfort. We fight because we have glimpsed our Creator, the Creator of all men and women, blacks and whites, babies and grandparents, police and citizens.
We cannot stand blindly by while our brothers are being killed. We cannot give into the temptation to dismiss, adjudicate without the facts, or gloss over the reality of our world. We must be willing to have hard conversations. Confront our own fears, prejudices, and blindness. We must carry one another’s burdens – even when we don’t fully understand. We must accept that the world as we see it is not as it truly is – for any of us. Our experiences, parents, skin color, gender, geography, and everything else that makes us us color our views.
We must share truth. Truth that is hard to hear. Truth that incriminates us. Truth that makes us uncomfortable. Truth that all humans are created in the image of God and are worthy of life by this fact alone – every black man, every police officer, every unborn child, every person with a physical or mental disability, every elderly person, every person. We cannot pick and choose – not for any reason. When we devalue one class of people, we devalue all; race, age, sexual orientation, gender, I.Q., are all irrelevant to value.
We must share hope. Hope that one day, the God of the Universe, who created every man, woman, and child will return and all wrongs will be made right. Justice will be served and grief will be no more. There is a God who is our great comforter; to whom we can cry for justice and healing. He is our Hope in the midst of tragedy and fear. He is good and He is just.
Today, we continue to grieve. again. Tomorrow, we will grieve and fight and hope and we will do it again and again because we cannot, we will not give up.