Oh, D and C. So much is going on around you.
Thoughts like whiplash, yes and no and oh my and not again and yes and Jesus be near. Black lives matter. In defense of Black life, because life is precious and life is joy. Listen, read, fill in the narrative gaps, repent, rejoice, live the Gospel, sing the Gospel, and remember that in the United States of America, we are each Israel and Egypt and Babylon and Rome and Massadah and Herod and the-Holy-Family-on-the-run and bewildered disciples and pushy crowds and Pharisees and Pontius Pilate and centurions and bystanders at the cross and the apostles hiding upstairs.
I keep putting police reform in the context of church reform. How numbers and reports and research and experiences all point to obviously necessary systemic reform. Policing must change to truly be of service. Of course it must! How many priests and pastors have been abusive but hidden away and protected, and how many others have been good stewards but publicly vilified because they participate in a broken system that has gone far astray from its mission of service.
(We can talk about the history of the police institution after I learn more about it. It’s muddy, from what I understand.)
Really though, if we don’t fix the system as it is now, we aren’t protecting our neighbors whose safekeeping is our responsibility. We’re aren’t being good stewards this way. Because we’re made for each other – that is the greatest commandment – we’re supposed to do life together, in community. One body.
We must create equity and justice for every member of our community – our neighbors, friends and strangers – extending to each one the mercy, and grace which we also hope for ourselves. We must be wary of those who want us to forget or deny that we are all Imago Dei – for they are not friends of liberty.
These United States of America (where we live) are governed ONLY by the consent of their people. I do not consent to abuses of power by our police and our federal executive branch (they are OUR creations, after all). I do not consent to governance by anyone who believes that property is more important than people and that people are props. These dehumanizing attitudes threaten our community and our liberty.
If we are are to be divided (Matthew 10:34), let it be for the sake of speaking Truth, bringing Truth into our actions, making Truth our guidepost. The Truth that we are responsible for one another, for stewarding each person safely through this life, for making space for folks as they truly are and listening when they too speak the Truth. (This is the social contract where everybody is free and safe and does no harm.) And may we know that Truth is revealed only in part to each of us and, without listening to stories that aren’t ours, we can’t approach the whole Truth.
Let us serve each other – for we are made to grow in community, to do life together – and let us do it justly. If one is left behind, we will search and retrieve them, then rejoin the other ninety-nine. For each is as valuable as the other without exception. Full stop.
I love you, children. Daddy and I pledge to model service and offer you opportunities to serve, too.