I would say my ideal social situation is hanging out with 3-8 people where my voice can be heard and where, frankly, I am often the center of attention.
Situations I often find myself in and which I don't necessarily love is when I am one in a crowd of voices. I tend to retreat and push down my feelings because I don't feel like anyone cares what I have to say.
This week my social media was flooded with brilliant words and thoughts on the shootings this week. And a LOT of people just lamenting how things are.
I just retreated because in a sea of voices, who cares about mine?
And then in church this morning our friend and pastor asked God to forgive our apathy and then proceeded to pray for each victim and their families by name. Big wet tears dripped into my lap.
I don't have the right words and I feel like I'm flooded with unjust killings every single day, so it's easy to retreat and let other voices do the talking.
What else can I do?! Black lives not only matter to me but they enrich my life! I kind of want to jump up and down and say "It's not me! It's not me!" But yet my friends are posting about their husbands being thrown down to the ground unjustly and not feeling safe when they drive. My eyes are opened to thought patterns outside of my own. And I can't do anything but love those around me and teach my children to do the same.
On the flip side, my sister, who I guard like a mama bear, is a wonderful cop who feels the tension rising each day she goes to work. I want her to be able to do her job AND return to her daughter after each shift. The emotions of these senseless killings have spread like wildfire and it makes me fear for her life.
I think I am not and never will be surprised by the disregard for life or the evils in the hearts of others...and especially evil in my own heart. It is how it always has been and will continue to be until heaven comes to earth.
Why do people around the world run to the edge of the ocean with their toes dipped in and stare out at the vastness.
It's because it declares the glory of God and gives a glimpse into a time when for eternity, peace and love will flow.
Why is my beloved forrest being overrun with thousands of people walking to the edge of a mountain and letting their heart be opened to the smallness of themselves?
It's because it declares the glory of God and points to His powerful love and his caring for each of His children no matter what their color or job.
Why do I run to the river every time I can't think or when my heart is sad? Standing there at the edge with my toes in freezing cold water and the rushing current washing away the groans and hurts of my heart?
It's because it declares the glory of God and for a moment reminds me that this, this tumultuous life full of painful decisions and sick friends and unjust killings is not how it is supposed to be.
God is grieved. His wrath for the unjust evil in the world is just how you want a father to react.
So until then I will keep singing and praying these words to my favorite hymn,
"Tune my heart to sing thy grace"
I want to be so bound to the heart of God that His grace comes out of me. Grace for people who are blinded to their own evil. Grace for those who act out of fear and not love.
So if you see me by the ocean or on top of a mountain with my arms outstretched and tears streaming down my face, come up next to me dear sister and brother and grab onto my hand and weep with me and hope with me.