Al Jarreau sings a song titled, “You Don’t See Me.” The first few lines are, “You don’t see me when I’m trying to do right, maybe you can see me now.” Those lines come to mind when I see rioting and burning buildings. I once thought that didn’t make sense. The people whose stores were being looted and burned didn’t cause the problem.
That was until I attended a rally in Birmingham after a series of black men in other cities were killed by the police. Some of the men said things I didn’t agree with. But, what I heard in their unspoken words, in the tone of their voices, was the desperation, the fear – not for themselves, but their children.
Now I understand why some people, sometimes, resort to what we think of as beyond comprehension. When nothing else seems to work, you just might do the crazy, irrational thing to be seen. To be heard.
Our topic this week is peace. I’m struggling to find mine after the officer who shot Philando Castille multiple times with two other passengers in the car, one of whom was his toddler, was not indicted. I repeat, not indicted. When you watch the video of the entire incident, you have to ask, Were they watching what we saw?
If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to do so. It is graphic and the most incomprehensible thing I have ever watched.
I’m not anti-police. I’ve been married to one for 25 years. A black man who chose to serve his community in law enforcement for 30 years. He’s retired now. Some days that makes me sad because his voice, his wisdom, is no longer making an impact in our city’s police department.
But, I have a 21-year-old black man as a son and a 19-year-old black woman as a daughter. And every time I see a car pulled over by a cop, my heart races a bit and I pray, first, that it is not my son or daughter. And second, that the stop will be infused with God’s grace and mercy, for all parties involved.
I decided last year that rather than debate, my response to the madness in our world would be a daily post of scripture. My hope was to somehow lift us all up and maybe help us see each other as children of one God rather than a color or a political party. But, I just can’t hold my peace any longer.
When, God, do we wake up and see what the enemy is doing? When, God, do good people of all races stand up and say loudly, “No More”? When, God, do we stop making decisions based on assumptions about something we only have social media headline knowledge about?
When, God, will I get to stop being afraid that next time it will be my son? When, God? When? When, friend? When will there be the justice of Micah 6:8?
God saw my struggle for peace and sent me reminders that He is with me, always. The Holy Spirit spoke to my aching heart. If I keep my focus on God, He will calm my heart and show me how to live for Him in the midst of chaos.
My way of engaging will be through intentional relationships with people who are different from me. Maybe understanding another viewpoint, even if we don’t agree, will keep us from making snap judgements and uninformed decisions.
And, I will no longer remain silent. Will you?
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Hey there friend! Andrea McCaskey here. I believe everything happens for a reason, life is meant to be lived in relationship with others and there is beauty to be found everywhere if we look. I am a friend of God, wife of Jamal and mother of Brandon and Madison.
To read more of Andrea’s Breath on Paper bio, click here.