Today, I cried. I mean, really cried.
After all the videos, photos, and media coverage of murder as if they were muffled afterthoughts and not the loss of actual people. After watching a son cry out for his father with wordless groaning only the Spirit can comprehend. After not feeling anything for years and moving on to the next moment with not even a hint of apathy. I finally cried. I finally mourned. I finally felt angry.
Angry because we used to take moments of silence. Now we abuse those moments with opinions, criticism, ‘fact finding,’ and political agendas. There is no longer true, honorable, and sincere reverence and mourning. Our grief only lasts long enough for the next story (or the next #murder) to load on our constantly updated feed.
And when I woke up this morning I’d finally had enough. I was heavy in ways that a person feels when the only place they have to fall is at the feet of the Father.
Have you felt that? I mean have you truly felt that for Alton Sterling? Sandra Bland? Freddie Gray? Trayvon Martin? The victims in Orlando?
Or were you too preoccupied with finding evidence of resisting? Too set on revealing reasons why they deserved it? Too busy trying to determine where you stood on the political side of the spectrum? Or were you too worried about preserving your reputation by making sure you weren’t standing on the ‘wrong’ side?
Well, I know what side I stand on. And right now I stand in mourning. And I’d like to continue taking these moments to feel that heaviness I felt today. To bear the burden. And to let that grief make me uncomfortable enough to break silence and effect change. To let that grief be an impetus for provoking conversations. Honest exchanges where I relay my fears for my children. And people actually understand those very real anxieties without judgement or belittlement of my reality.
Because when you shake off the numbness, what follows is not bliss or gratitude for being awakened from your stupor. It is a sobering awareness that you have been standing still and letting headlines slide off your conscious in order to maintain the appearance of neutral. And if you are a believer, you have no room for neutral.
Because here’s a cliche for you: What would Jesus do? Would he be neutral? Meh. History says otherwise.
My guess is he would weep and mourn with those who mourned. Or maybe he would be table flipping Jesus. Angry Jesus is my personal fave. Because he never stood for trampling the downtrodden. He never stood for injustice. He never stood for making excuses. And the Jesus who wept is also the same one whose love for us drove him to anger in the face of anything that stood in contradiction to the Father.
Overall, my purpose is not to incite outrage. Or, perhaps, it is. But not hate filled rage that overflows into riots and division. Just anger that leads to understanding between a people that are better at throwing insults and statistics instead of creating safe spaces for compassion. The anger that is borne out of love for one another. The kind of anger that unifies.
So if you’re not angry yet, maybe you should reconsider your position.