Life

I can’t breathe.

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Last night I sobbed myself to sleep.

Not cried. I literally choked on sobs. I sobbed for sons I have not borne yet. For their sons. The wives and sisters who will love the men and boys who generate from my body. I sobbed for my brothers, my dad, my uncles and my grandfathers. And all the women who have loved them. I wondered how in the world did my people grieve during a time they had no possible legal recourse for a lynching, a shooting, a beating, a killing? How did the generations before me get up again when the lives of their loved ones and community members were taken and destroyed indiscriminately? How did they continue on?

My prayer last night was a prayer that echoed through me from the moment I heard one of Eric Garners’ killers would not be indicted on any charge for his death. There would be no trial. There would be no justice. For yet another murder. “Father, how are we still here? How is it possible that you have not destroyed us all? What is keeping you from incinerating the earth? What type of world do we live in that we can witness a murder and not charge the murderer?”

I will demand blood for life. I will demand the life of any animal that kills a person, and I will demand the life of anyone who takes another person’s life.

“Whoever kills a human being
    will be killed by a human being,
because God made humans
    in his own image.

Genesis 9:5-6

Last night, as I marched through the streets of New York City, I wondered what would I offer for the lives of people on this earth? The only offering I have is my life. And quite honestly, I was ready for violence last night. Had a riot started, I would have been in the midst of it. Had someone been handing out flames to torch this city, I would have lit up as much as I could until I was taken down. That’s how I felt. And I kept on thinking, “But God! You gave Your Son for the people on this earth! I am having difficulty understanding why You gave up Your Son for these people. For us. I would hide my son away!”

How can a people created and preserved in such love, be capable of such hate and injustice? I have no answer, so I sob. Humans are so lucky I am not God. If I were, they would have no hope of salvation or redemption.

Now I am thinking about the Son God gave the world for payment of its sins. Jesus, sweet Jesus who Himself for a time felt forsaken by His Heavenly Father. Jesus, who Himself asked for the cup He had been given to be taken from Him. Jesus, who is the best representation for pure love we have, said:

“Don’t think that I came to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. I have come so that

‘a son will be against his father,
    a daughter will be against her mother,

a daughter-in-law will be against her mother-in-law.
A person’s enemies will be members of his own family.’ Micah 7:6

“Those who love their father or mother more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. Those who love their son or daughter more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. Whoever is not willing to carry the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who try to hold on to their lives will give up true life. Those who give up their lives for me will hold on to true life.

~ Matthew 10:34-39

Jesus Himself wept.

Will You Be There by Michael Jackson

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