I get so frustrated. At night I lay awake in my bed, the hot air pressing down on me and the anger and frustration in my heart that sits like a lump of coal on my chest. I beg for answers. I plead for understanding. And I curse this humanity that has us at each other’s throats each day. And today, I’m #GoingThere with Deidra Riggs.
The wages of sin is death. I’ve heard this rolling around in the sermons and down the pews since my birth. The callousness and crassness of this earth that just keeps on spinning despite the fact that we are burning it down with our rubber bullets and poisonous tongues and the lack of regard for another living, breathing soul is enough to make my stomach sour and my mind ache at the mere thought of rising to another day.
|Photo from Good Morning Girls|
My life? It’s been charmed compared to so many. Yes I’ve had troubles and at times my burden seems more than I can bear, but there is so much I don’t have. I don’t wake each day wondering if a bomb will rain down on my home. I don’t enter my streets with trepidation and concern that my child will be taken because we carry the title of Christian. Aside from my few months living under the hot sun of Africa, I have never been a minority. Never worried that the police will gun down my son because they fear the color of his skin.
And why the hell does it happen now? Why in this nation that has so many red marks and a tainted past do we continue to turn from our history and keep doing the same things over again?
A mother should not have to worry about her child for the mere tone of his skin.
A country should not hide away the past so that it can continue to sweep under the rug the disparities of the present.
And what of me? Of my family? Of this church and this body? How revolting is it that I had not even heard of the tragedy in Ferguson until days after when my Facebook feed was lit up with indignation.
But it seems like I keep writing these posts. Bits of my words where I plead for the Savior to show his mighty hand and I beg for the church to stand with me. For our lips to not be silent for the needs of our fellow man. And where are we? Where are you ladies?
Two messages keep coming to me this week: choose joy and God will fight for me, I need only be still (Exodus 14:14). I get the choose joy part. It’s been a beautiful and difficult summer all rolled into one ridiculously hot package. Being reminded to choose joy is a good thing. But the second, I’ve kept rolling around this in my head: what battle do I need fought? Where am I lacking, my strength faltering?
And then it hit me: right here. Right here in this moment, at this table. Right here there is a spiritual battle raging that goes so far beyond skin color and where we live, but chooses these needles of the soul to poke and prod each other with. Right here in the midst of this nation and spreading out to this world we are at war. And when he says he will fight for me, I don’t believe that means I need to remain inactive.
This battle is not one fought with the sword of steel, but instead the sword of truth. Our words are knives that can be used to cut down the disparity in this world or to cut the hearts of our neighbor. We have only to choose which side to be on. Yet if we are still, if we allow him to move us, to carry us, to speak through our mouths and hedge up this battle on the front lines of our faith, only then can we see change. Because here is the thing: there is a difference between being still and being idle. Idle is wasted, stillness listens to the voice that guides and allows the spirit to move.
Only if we allow him to fight for us. If we pick up that sword of truth and all the father to wield it through our nimble arms, only then can we cut down the poison of mistrust and racism. Only then can the genocides be put to an end and our mother’s hearts will rest at night.
So be still, my friends. Be still my neighbors. Be still and strong and courageous and this battle, this war, will be won.
Jumping in with Jennifer Dukes Lee to #TellHisStory.