Friday, May 29, 2020

Thoughts in the Middle of this Massive Pain

I have a pain that rests so deep inside me that I often wonder where it came from.

When did I wake up in this agony that has been like a dull throb for all these decades?

The events of the past few days have unnerved me in a way that I thought I wouldn't see again after 2014. How naive of me, maybe too wishful of me, too hopeful that being "twice kissed by God's sun" would not be a cause for death.

Last Friday, I spent it on my sofa, prepping for the literary circle I run. It is my Sabbath. I just had coffee and wanted to read. By Monday, I had seen reports of non-melaninated folks crowding beaches in Orange City NJ and the Lake of the Ozarks MO, among other places.

It bothered me, in the midst of a pandemic, that they would be so callous with life. What happened to love thy neighbor as thyself? No mask, no physical distancing, just sweaty bodies in a crowded pool. I just wondered how long this would go on.

The thing that shouldn't have surprised me was that these were the same kind of people who descended on state capitols, held Governor's essentially hostage in their homes by surrounding it, and taking over state houses because they could not handle the discipline to just stay home. What happened to #AloneTogether when everyone was so afraid of this global killer? Perhaps when it was more elderly and melanin-rich folks who succumbed to Covid19. Maybe they think their blood is so superior and supreme that this virus wouldn't take them out, despite the revelation that the early deaths were folks who look like them. Why were they so impatient? Was a beer or brat or barber chair that important?

Memorial Day just had me shaking my head at them so much that I turned the news off.

I missed the brutal lynching in broad daylight in Minneapolis, I found out about that on Tuesday when I tuned into the news.

The Mayor of Minneapolis acted swiftly to call it for what it was, the result of 400 years of systemic oppression.

People came out in peaceful protest.

This was after people in Louisville KY, just a few weeks earlier, had to deal with the trauma of an essential worker, an EMT, literally slaughtered in her sleep through a no-knock raid in the middle-of-the-night at the wrong house for a suspect that was already in custody. It was too much to hold, so I had to finally tune out. It was not that far from this incident that a young man, just a few days shy of his birthday was targeted and lynched while on a jog. He was the same age as my youngest son.

What was I to do with all that pain?

In the middle of birthday celebrations and the week that was supposed to be my son's birthday, my birthday, and my daughter's graduation, news hit about a month's earlier slaughter of this young man.

My soul began to cry out, how long?

Solace seemed so far off.

I turned to the scriptures. I read over and over and over Psalm 37 and held onto the promises of it that evildoers do not have the final say. It comforted me when I could not be calm and felt my heart racing.

Today is Friday, and for the past two days, my news feed has been flooded by the anguish of the unheard, fires, and sheer emotion of a younger generation tired of being oppressed. My own daughters, sixteen and eighteen, respectively, said it was traumatizing, it was too much.

In the wee hours of this morning, I found that the imposter of a president essentially called for the mass shooting of melaninated folks. It was not surprising that he did that, he has been stoking those fires, literally and figuratively, since 2009. But it still seemed more than logic. At least Twitter got on the case, finally, after years of letting falsehoods and slander invade the decency of the office at the ends of tiny fingers on keyboards.

It was indeed too much.

This morning, I made a cake. It was something I could do. Remembering the comfort of comfort. I poured my love for my family into every whip of butter and eggs and flour and vanilla. I want them to know how much I love them.

My soul hurt from all that happened in the two almost three months that we began sheltering in place.

I cried out to the one who holds up the universe, How long?!!!!

In the middle of crying out, I stopped to remember how good God has been to me. Still Good. Still God. Still has the final say. And not that imposter god worshipped by flag waving, gun toting, fear mongering folks, no, my hope is in the God who parted the waters and calmed the seas, who indeed makes a way out-of-no way and gave voice to the oppressed.

This is a time. A time that feels like no other, yet is so familiar.

What I hope is that this will be it. The thing that will cause a change. The pain of so many so real, so tangible, surely there is empathy of fellow human beings who just want to breathe free.

Dare I to have hope?

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