It may be we hear today what the Grand Jury in Ferguson, MO will do – indict the officer, Darren Wilson, who killed Michael Brown or let him go. Either way, we belong to God. No matter what they do, Michael Brown, another Black mother’s son has died, and either way, we belong to Christ. Many Black men and Black women died before Michael at the hands of police, of white people, of systems that have not loved Black bodies, and anyway we belong to Spirit.
Because we belong to a God, we must act. We must speak to each other of racism and the toll it takes on Black people, on White people, Asian, Latino, on all people. We must interfere in racism – linger when there is a confrontation, stand between when when lives are in danger, act even when we are afraid, uncertain we got it right, even if it makes us feel foolish, even if it turns out we read the situation wrong. Notice who’s in the room and who’s not. Learn, listen, be curious, be savy. Apply your intuition. Ask questions as simple as, “Are you in danger?” “What’s happening here?” “Do you need help?” “Was that racist what I just said?” “Was that racism that just happened?” “Please tell me what you know.”
In Lent, our theme will be “Fear.” During Lent, we will continue our intentional work on racism, both to save our lives, and also as a way to name what we fear, to learn how not to be paralyzed by fear, and how to speak and act on behalf of the world even when we are afraid. And to practice replacing fear with love, as St. Paul writes.
Beloved, let’s not fear the sacred work of anti-racism. Let’s decide instead to love each other radically, ultimately, as God loves us.
Courtney and I are available for you tonight as we live with the news from Ferguson. We’ll be at the church showing Talladega Nights at 7 in the sanctuary. Please pray for those folks, there, and our folks here.
Laura Ruth and Courtney