The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (7/8/2016)

There are times in a blogger’s journey where words seem entirely empty – where my attempts to form thoughts are drowned out by the tears and anguish.  It would be easy to pontificate here on why, precisely, white conservative Christians need to shut up and listen, to accept that Black Lives Matter is a rallying cry of justice, not an offense against the sacred whiteness they so desperately cling to.  But the reality is, I’m tired.  I returned from a wonderful conversation with a friend to compose my weekly Good, Bad and Ugly post, and found that all I could do was cry and pray that something changes.  I locked myself in my room, because I simply do not have what it takes to explain to my children why I am weeping.

There have been too many murders all around.  Black men senselessly killed for nothing more than being black.  Police officers shot and killed to promote an agenda of hate.  And in the midst of it all, there seems to be nothing I can do.  And so, I stand back and I listen.  I learn.  I let my black neighbor and my fellow Christians of color teach me.  Because it is in moments like this I recognize just how desperately I need to learn.

With that said, this will be a decidedly different post than I typically write for my GBU series.  Today, rather than divide up posts or offer analysis, I want to offer a moment for mourning, contemplation, and prayer.  I challenge my readers to read the stories, to allow the heartlessness and hatred to truly become real, and to grieve this horrendous loss of life.  This is a time for us to mourn with a community that is already mourning, not to assert our own narrative or serve our own purposes.

Please be warned, some of the links below contain graphic content.

Alton Sterling

http://www.msn.com/en-us/video/watch/new-video-of-alton-sterling-police-shooting/vp-BBu2Pl5

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/baton-rouge-store-owner-says-his-video-shows-cops-murdered-n604841

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/06/us/alton-sterling-baton-rouge-shooting.html

Philando Castile

http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/07/us/falcon-heights-shooting-minnesota/

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/09/us/philando-castile-jeronimo-yanez.html

http://time.com/4397086/minnesota-shooting-philando-castile-role-model-school/

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/07/alton-sterling-philando-castile-2nd-amendment-guns/490301/

Dallas Terrorism

http://time.com/4398421/mother-of-alton-sterlings-son-condemns-dallas-shooting/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/08/dallas-protest-shooting-organizers-black-lives-matter

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/breakingnews/what-we-know-about-dallas-shooter-micah-xavier-johnson/ar-BBu6lxZ?li=BBnb7Kz?ocid=ansmsnnews11

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/breakingnews/five-police-officers-killed-in-dallas-seven-others-wounded-during-shooting-at-protest/ar-BBu5IC9

Voices to be Heard

http://austinchanning.com/blog/untitled

http://austinchanning.com/blog/2016/7/age-of-understanding

https://faithforjustice.com/2016/07/07/rest/

https://sojo.net/articles/black-christian-leaders-voice-anger-lament-over-deaths-alton-sterling-and-philando-castile

http://fusion.net/story/323039/dallas-shooting-who-is-mark-hughes/

May we, in the midst of this unspeakable terror, seek the heart of God for those who are now suffering, and grieve for the senseless loss of life.  Please join me in taking a moment to pray.

Lord, today we mourn life lost. Today we raise our voices in lament, in protest of violence and hatred – in solidarity with the black community who has time and again been targeted by senseless violence.

I pray for the families of the 5 slain in Dallas.  May we all learn that violence only ever leads to more violence.

I pray that you would give me your heart, push me to seek a better way.  May your kingdom of justice may be made manifest among us.  I pray for comfort for those mourning, that they may find justice.  I pray for change, because too many lives have been lost.

Most of all, I pray for conviction.  I pray that, I might see how I contribute to the systems of oppression which continue to claim so many innocent black lives.  I pray that I might be convicted of my antagonisms, of the ways in which my words and deeds contribute to the violence and hatred which permeates our society, our church.  May black lives matter, and swords be made into ploughshares.

Lord, hear our collective prayers.

Amen.

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2 thoughts on “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (7/8/2016)

  1. Nate,

    I have sobbed all day, my heart feels broken. You did beautiful work here. I loved what Brené Brown wrote on Facebook also.
    7 hrs ·
    “I woke up this morning looking for someone to blame. Someone to hate. Someone who I could make the single target of my fear about the officers killed in Dallas and the killing of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. It was such a desperate feeling to want to discharge the uncertainty and scarcity. Then it dawned on me that this is the exact drive that fueled what’s happening right now.

    Instead of feeling hurt we act out our hurt. Rather than acknowledging our pain, we inflict it on others. Neither hate nor blame will lead to the justice and peace that we all want – it will only move us further apart. But we can’t forget that hate and blame are seductive. Anger is easier than grief. Blame is easier than real accountability. When we choose instant relief in the form of rage, we’re in many ways choosing permanent grief for the world.”

    I am choosing to grieve today, and will continue, however long it takes, my tears are my prayers because I am speechless. Thank-You for writing that holy prayer & giving me words to agree with in the name of our Lord. Love you.

    Like

Thanks for taking the time to read and engage. I look forward to your feedback, I welcome any criticism. However, as my goal here is mutualy respectful, beneficial conversation, I only ask that we keep civility in mind with our words. Grace and Peace.

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