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A Charleston Lament – #BlackLivesMatter

Posted June 28, 2015 by Marg Herder

ghostly image in the dark

I wish I could make the world safe
For people
Black people
LGBTQ people
Muslim people
Impoverished people
Incarcerated people
Mentally ill people
The list goes on and on
It’s almost too much for me to bear right now

But to do that, I have to wish I could
Make the world feel safe for so many people of cultural privilege
Because it’s their fear that drives them
To wound and kill the rest of us
It’s the subconscious awareness of all they withhold
That leads them to fear we want to take
all they have
away

I want them to know there is enough
Enough food
Enough air
Enough water
Enough love
Enough

I want them to know
They don’t have to guard what can never be theirs

I don’t know how to keep fearful white men from killing black people
Whether they do it with a gun in a street or in a church
Or they do it with a signature in a statehouse
There seems to be no end to this reactive and dangerous sense of entitlement

I don’t know how to keep LGBTQ people safe either
Even when we get away from the people who hate us
We still carry the memories of their shaming words and actions
We try to create our own communities
Our own spaces, to keep ourselves safe
But those who would harm us reach into those
Through their physical presence and the media, sure
But through the endless emotional flashbacks of our own invisible trauma as well

I am convinced that this is the lesson of Gethsemane
Not Jesus crying humanly about his own impending suffering and death
But rather Jesus’s awareness of the depth of the intractable ruin of us
The universal suffering of the other who threatens the status of the entitled
just by being

I think we must create some way to rest in the illusion of deliverance
Because it’s the only way to continue
Those creative enough to do so must place hope prominently on the hill
So others can believe in it

I call out to all who have this creative ability
Fearlessly come forth with your truth
No denials, no platitudes, no false reassurance
Come forth and teach us
To find rest in God’s illusory promise of equality and justice

And those of us who know the truth of Gethsemane, especially
Have to find some way to dwell emotionally in Her embrace
Even while our hearts and bodies continue to be battered
by the harsh realities of this earthly sojourn
Even as logic clearly indicates that this fundamental and immutable misunderstanding
of privilege and the other
Cannot be resolved

 

 

We must create some way to rest in the illusion of deliverance – it’s the only way to continue. #BlackLivesMatter Click To Tweet

 

I am convinced that the lesson of Gethsemane is Jesus’s awareness of the intractable ruin of us. #BlackLivesMatter Click To Tweet

 

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