Day 18 + 40 Days of Mercy + + +

I will not stop caring, whatever the cost.
I will not cease loving, no matter the consequences.
The political winds may howl above me,
scattering people like leaves in a storm,
but I will hold fast to the common ground,
the wisdom that once formed us.
Difference is not a crime. Diversity is not a threat.
Disagreement is not a failure.
Community requires of me what it requires of others:
a commitment to share in the process of justice.
There are no expendable human beings in that process,
only a sacrifice of privilege.
For the sake of the many, I will not stop caring for the few.

~ Steven Charleston

Image on Pinterest

Ferguson ~ O Ferguson: You Teach Us We Are So Much More Than We Allow Ourselves To Be

Ferguson ~ O Ferguson: You teach us we are so much more than we allow
ourselves to be.

I am still trying to process all that is happening in Ferguson, Mo.
This situation tears at the depth of my soul and I lament.

I know, I know, I’m taking it personally – – because I know that this young man that was gunned down could have been my son.
This month marks 43 years since we got the call:

“There is a 9 month old boy that needs a home.
Would you be interested in adoption?”

We were poor, very poor seminary students at the time, with a three year old daughter of our own. But our hearts reached out to these children in need.

We hoped to give this one child more opportunities in life.
Hoped that in time the world would be a better place and racism would be overcome with love and peace.<!–more–>

I remember a song I especially loved singing as part of the Civil Rights Movement.

Tell me why you’re crying, my son
I know you’re frightened, like everyone
Is it the thunder in the distance you fear?
Will it help if I stay very near?
I am here.

And if you take my hand my son
All will be well when the day is done.
And if you take my hand my son
All will be well when the day is done.
Day is done, Day is done
Day is done, Day is done

Do you ask why I’m sighing, my son?
You shall inherit what mankind has done.
In a world filled with sorrow and woe
If you ask me why this is so, I really don’t know.

And so, we reached out and took his hand
and he taught us to grow and love and learn in
ways we had never imagined.

We saw first hand the incidents of racism, discrimination,
hatred, abuse, injustice, racial profiling that he experienced
only because his skin was brown and not white.

Only his skin color distinguished him from all the other
children at his all white schools, all white sports teams,
all white places of employment, all white neighborhoods and
communities and family.

And so, this incident in Ferguson – – I take it personally.
I struggle with the fact that even after 43 years there is still
such racism and injustice in our North American societies.
There is still so much denial to face this disease that permeates
our culture. There is still such inequality among people.
It stings at my sense of hope for a greater humanity and seems a set-back
to any signs that progress has been made over the past 43 years.

And so I dig deep, and pray that I can find a way to do more – – to be more loving and kind in a world that still dishonors those who are different than ourselves.

I ask that in each moment we could choose wisely – – to do and be that which is most truly the expression of our loving and gracious God.

May our hearts open to love, honor, and respect each others differences,
and rejoice in the diversity of humanity.

We are so much more than we allow ourselves to be.