Some days are so hard, so scary. I went to bed last night thinking about the bombing in Baghdad, about all those hundreds of people who lost their lives or their loved ones, about how there was so little coverage of it because … what? We don’t care about Iraqi people in the West? Or Muslims? Or we’re just not surprised?
I woke up this morning and caught up on what happened in Baton Rouge, more injustice and violence, more frustration with a system that doesn’t seem to be changing. Another name, Alton Sterling, to add to the list of those struck down by people who should be protecting us. Some days my heart is so broken for our world.
Terrorism, hatred knows no bounds. Fear, discrimination destroys us. It’s a sad fact that, as humans, we are capable of disregarding each other so completely, so wholly. Violence, war, bombs, guns, are you as exhausted as I am with all of it? And yet for the sake of those lost, we can’t be exhausted. We have to keep saying out loud that this is not the world we want, not the world that should be.
Sitting in my office today, I don’t know what to do. I look out the window at this beautiful summer day and I know that I am privileged to feel safe, unthreatened. There are moments when I don’t know how to sit here and keep going about my day when things like this keep happening.
“What are we supposed to do? How are we supposed to see what they did to Alton Sterling then watch SportsCenter or sitcoms? How do we crack jokes and move on?” —Shaun King
All I have right now are words and social media posts and it feels like not enough.
“So what can we do to help them feel a little less alone? We can show up. Tonight, take 15 minutes with your family, friends, or neighbors, and make a sign showing your solidarity with the people of Iraq. Take a photo with your sign and share it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, using the hashtag #PrayForIraq. We will translate your messages of support and share them with our friends in Iraq. When grief is loud, love cannot be silent. Love always shows up. Love overcomes fear. Love leans into pain.” —Preemptive Love Coalition
I don’t believe that God ordained these things to happen. I don’t believe they are part of his plan. I believe he is grieved and brokenhearted. I believe he is with the family of Alton Sterling and the people of Iraq, the people of Bangladesh, Istanbul, Orlando, Paris, Brussels, the Syrian refugees around the world and all those who cry out for justice. He will redeem us all from our sins and our suffering.
In the meantime, I will use my words, as small as they are, to join the chorus of voices saying, we’ve had enough.