i don’t usually go outside to cry. to connect with nature, to commune with god, sure. but today was not like any other day. today i struggled to put aside the growing rage in my soul and focus on my days work. today i spent the day remembering all the times i felt terrified by an encounter with authority. today i remembered all the times i’ve felt helpless to protect myself and those around me from harm and danger.
but today was also about seeing and i saw dajerria becton’s fear and terror and trauma and saw my nieces in her eyes. as i sat by the lake i cried tears of defiance. i let those hot tears of rage roll down my cheeks unchecked as they spilled over onto the pages of my journal, mixing with the still wet ink until the blurry smudge of “how could you” and “when will this end” and “where is justice” began to blend into one untamed run-on sentence. and i saw.
i see you black girl who was dragged by your arm like a ragdoll without life … i see you black girl who screamed for someone to hear your cries and intervene … i see you black girl who begged for someone to call your mom to protect you when you were defenseless … i see you black girl who was forced to the ground, mounted and further violated by the weight of your oppressor … i see you black girl who needed someone to put an end to your torture and abuse … i see you black girl who dared demand someone in authority see you as human and innocent and not a color as he stripped you of your agency … i see you black girl terrified of what unchecked authority looks like … i see you black girl … dajerria becton … and wish the world saw you the same as i do
on a day when my blood boiled with anger, i wanted god to explain himself. i wanted god to address the sea of hatred lapping at the shores of america’s soul. i wanted god to do to them what they have done to us for centuries without so much as a time out. i wanted to feel like god was a god of justice and that justice would look the way i wanted it to look – swift and decisive and complete. god doesn’t do what i want him to.
instead he led me to a place in his word that gave me permission to release my anger and choose love, joy, kindness, and peace. ugh. so not what i wanted to hear. but just as plain as day, i was led to “envy not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. (prov 3:33)” how can i argue with that? ugh.
truth is i don’t want to be consumed with hate. i can’t even imagine how empty your heart has to be to believe the abhorrent things white supremacy teaches about my people.i can’t imagine the dearth of integrity and character that fills the hollow place where your heart should be to believe it is not only ok but justified to terrorize children the way eric casebolt and his lynchmob crew did in mckinney texas. i want no parts of that consuming, blinding bitterness.
but god i want people to see … really see … the constant state of stress you live in when you’re black in this country. being black in america is like living with post traumatic stress disorder only you’re never removed from the trigger of your trauma and there isn’t enough therapy to compensate for it. how long can you survive? and how can i reconcile a cry to survive when i serve a god who commanded me to thrive? and how can i thrive in a place where my people are moving targets?
i am wrestling with choosing to embody love, joy, kindness, and peace when all of my being wants to fight and scream and shout. i’d gladly drive the stake through the heart of white supremacy if i weren’t in danger of being poisoned by its all consuming hatred. today was not a good day for my spirit. but if vengance is his, then i have to trust that when every knee shall bow, even white supremacy will have its day.