I know a lot of people have already written about our past week in America. I join, humbly, a cacophony of other voices: some angry, some terrified, some heartbroken, some astonished.
Two isolated deaths motivated, apparently, by racism. Five collective deaths motivated, apparently, by retribution. Other deaths, other lives interrupted that I’m sure didn’t make the news headlines, motivated similarly.
Two things keep intermingling in my head as I’ve thought / prayed / grieved over these deaths.
“I’m just thoroughly pro-life.” – my dear, wise friend Kelsey Schmidt
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” – my dear, wise friend Jesus (John 10:10)
And all I can think is: “Can’t we just do our utmost to keep everybody alive? Can’t we just do our utmost to bring fuller, more flourishing life to everyone? When will hateful arrogance finally just die so that people can just live?When will vengeance finally just die so that people can just live?”
That’s really pretty much all I want for the people I love: to be alive. To be alive and to become ever-more alive. To keep growing and learning and loving. To just be with me and to just enjoy life together. To live forever so that we can always just be together and enjoy each other.
Everyone who died this week had someone in their life who feels about them the same way I do about my own people.
I know that racism is still very alive and well. But if we all continue to assure ourselves that we are not racist, how will it ever end?
I know about the theory of dying for a just cause. But everyone thinks their cause is just. Who is right?
I’d rather just have my people alive.
I’d rather everyone just have their people alive.
Jesus, kill hateful arrogance in me. Jesus, kill vengeance in me. Start with me. That’s all I’ve got to offer, anyway.