My facebook feed, inbox, and text messages have said quite a bit today and the past few days and weeks about violence and racism. Now, as you might imagine, I have connections with quite a few “churchy” people—members, pastors, hierarchy, institutions, organizations—and many of the responses I have been reading come from a Christian perspective, but not all.
I have “heard” that Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter and that All Lives Matter. I have been invited to join in prayer services, protests and other public gatherings. I have been asked to contemplate my role, influence, and responsibility as the parent of brown-skinned children, one of whom is male. I have been urged to wake up, have conversations, join with those who are different than me, donate my money and use what leadership I may have as a member of a community and pastor to work for peace, justice, mercy, solidarity, and love. Mostly I have been urged to do something and choose that “something” wisely because there are so many wrong “somethings,” at least according to my digital world.
I am reminded of the summer after my junior year of college. I participated in an internship in which I worked in two nonprofits–one which helped to create affordable housing in Charlotte and the other which provided a safe haven and support for inner city children–and in which I joined with other interns to read and discuss theology. I had visited and volunteered my time in severely impoverished communities of people who were white, brown, and black prior to this internship and had spent plenty of time in theological query; this setting was not new. But what has remained with me from that summer’s experiences is that fear motivates.
I do not have an answer; I do not have a rally-ing cry; I do not have an eloquent prayer; I do not have a plan.
Yet, the answer is safety for each of God’s children; “There is no such thing as someone else’s child” is a pretty good rallying cry; I do pray for us all; and I beg God for the clarity and courage to recognize the moments when I/we can be part of God’s plan for wholeness and the patience and love to act.