(Every time I went to write this, fresh tragedy was overtaking my social media streams. And so this may be old news in this heartbreaking season, but it still matters.)
It feels like the world is on fire – and in the dog days of this summer, I am burning from the inside out.
It’s an odd thing to be standing in my white skin and the capital of the United States of America and feel like the other.
Some days ago, I wrestled my beat up minivan into the heart of DC to pay tribute to the victims of the July 3rd Baghdad bombing.It’s a small crowd, they mostly know each other, some are already crying, most are hugging and a few are laughing.
Sometimes I think we have to keep laughing if we are going to live through any of this.
I’m in position now, my phone up, live-streaming for my friends at Preemptive Love Coalition because we don’t want to miss this, we don’t want to lose this in our news feeds ripe with new loss and fresh wailing.And then they start naming names, and telling their stories, and grieving the what-would-have-beens. Tears are mingling with the hot wax on my fingers because we are saying goodbye and hello with the same voice, in the same breath. Goodbye to friends and colleagues, and people we’ve never known but share kinship with on this sin-scarred rock. Hello, because the day after Mohammed died, his son, Mohammed was born. And so it goes, the living and the dead-and I wonder anew at why my soft-skinned laughing babe is safe at home in her crib and Mohammed enters the scene with tragedy woven into the very beat of his brand new blood, with loss every moment he is named.I can’t tell you the why of it all – oh how I wish I could.
What I can tell you is what I will do in the face of it all.
The other begins to slough off like an ill fitting skin, because we are all honorable friends.
Because we love anyway.Because this lily white Christian suburban mom of four dragged herself down to the heart of the city to stand in a puddle of awkwardness and say, “We are with you.”
We will stand with Turkey and Baghdad, and France, and now Munich, and our black friends who are tired of fighting, tired of dying.
We will stand with the men and women in blue who are working to make their communities stronger, and safer together.
We will pool our voices and we will speak – nay – shout for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. (From Proverbs 31:8).
We are with you.
Love first. Love anyway.
Never forget … their life, or their death.
We are all honorable friends.