Originally posted on June 6, 2020
I’ve been struggling these past two days with what to say. I want my words to be compassionate but I’m angry. And I’m desperately heart-broken. So, I’m working at it.
I cannot comprehend how anyone could justify using teargas and force to clear a church yard of people who are behaving peacefully, including the volunteers and clergy who where providing comfort and relief to those who were legally protesting a horrific act … or should I say decades and centuries of horrific acts.
The people of the church that had been burned by the violence caused by not so peaceful protestors stood in solidarity with the message of the protesters and sought to serve them in a Christ-like way.
Read that last sentence again; let that sink in.
The bishop and clergy of this particular church chose to see the situation through the eyes of Jesus. And their efforts and message were tear gassed for a photo-op. There were no words of comfort and grace offered by the president, no message of love, dignity, or respect – the very theme of the book he held and the very message of the building he stood in front of.
I cannot comprehend how we’ve come to this.
I’m struggling to see all sides of this as Jesus would. My anger is still too big. But I’m trying. I want to speak but I know my words will not be effective if shouted among all the other yelling and fist shaking.
So I ask the following with as much kindness and compassion as possible:
If you think it’s ok for white people to stand on capital building steps with automatic weapons as a form of protest against the professional medical advice to stop a pandemic but not for people of color to get angry over the murder of a black man in broad daylight by a police officer, I ask you why?
If you immediately respond to “Black Lives Matter” with anger, or even just discomfort, and make statements like “all lives matter” I ask you why? Do you think that accepting the idea that black lives matter means you don’t?
If you lump both protestors and looters in the same bucket and condemn them all as “thugs” and think it’s ok for the leader of our country to promote the continued violence against these people with statements like “dominate and control” and “when the looting starts the shooting starts” I ask you why?
And if these questions make you angry at me and if you are considering posting a comment condemning me for asking them, I ask you why?
Bigotry and hatred are alive and thriving in our country. You can choose to pretend it isn’t if you want to but again I ask you why? Ignoring it is easy on the surface but it eventually leads to what has exploded in the past two weeks. Do we really want to live through this over and over again as a nation? Wouldn’t it be better course of action to work at being better human beings together as companions rather than competitors?
I promise you, with God, there’s enough equality and compassion and understanding for everyone. There’s enough love and grace for everyone. There’s enough dignity and respect for everyone.
I choose, with God’s help, to love not hate. I choose, with God’s help, to speak carefully, guided by compassion. I choose, with God’s help, to seek understanding. I choose, with God’s help, to strive for justice and peace and respect the dignity of every human being.
Will you choose to walk the Way of Love with me? If you choose not to I’ll still love you and treat you with dignity and respect but I will keep asking you why.