A Lament, Four Days after Independence Day

Mercy. Mercy. Mercy.

We woke up to more wretched, horrible, heartbreaking news today. It’s like the United States decided to go insane after it’s birthday. Were we not just celebrating Independence Day four days ago? And now, there have been deaths upon deaths upon deaths. Each day we wake up to more news of lives stolen.

More fear. More hate. More blame.

We want to point fingers at someone else because then we don’t have to evaluate our own complicity in the evil around us.

“I’d never do anything like that!” “Why can’t they just be peaceful!” “They should have known better!”

I’m just as guilty of this as anyone else. I have my host of characters that I want to blame for each of the different violent incidents that happened this week, and I bet you do as well. And we probably don’t agree, which makes it even worse. Because then we can blame each other for blaming the wrong people. And then that becomes the new “talking point” rather than grieving the loss of lives that should not have been taken.

I’m sick. I’m tired. I’m weary.

And I don’t have to worry about most of the things that many of my brothers and sisters in this country have to worry about.

Because you know this is about race. And I’m white. So I don’t have to worry about it as much. I’m allowed to not have to think about what I need to tell my daughter about wearing a hood at night. That’s privilege.

And this morning, we woke up to news of more death in our centuries old story about race and power and hate.

Black people shouldn’t be shot if their tail light is out.

Black people shouldn’t die in prison after not turning on their turn signal.

Police officers shouldn’t be shot while protecting our right to protest.

Police officers shouldn’t die in the line of duty.

But they do. They are. And it’s wrong.

I grieve over all of it. I grieve that I don’t have the right words to say. I don’t know enough and I don’t understand how so much death has happened and we still don’t see any change. Whose death will finally turn the tide?

I’m a Christian, so I believe that we have already had that death. But even that death, and the people who so firmly proclaim that death was defeated, have not been able to make the radical change that is needed so that people. Stop. Dying.

Mercy. Mercy. Mercy.

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