I can’t ever remember a time when I have felt such a loss for words. Capturing feelings and ideas and putting them into neat and catchy phrases has always seemed easy for me. Until now. This week has been hard. Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, it’s been a long year this week.
The murders of Ahmaud Arbrey and now George Floyd unearthed something that had been not so neatly tucked away in our collective consciousness. These two events coupled with the trauma of the COVID pandemic were the catalysts for what I now see was a perfect storm. So, it would seem that we as a nation, and more specifically some of us as a people- are on the other side of through.
I am a wife, daughter, sister and mother of black men. Whom I love and cherish- as anyone would their people- and I am now, more than ever- fiercely protective of and loyal to my tribe. But in these times I don’t just pray for their safety and protection. I pray for their hearts and for their faith in humanity not to fail. Because as we have recently been made painfully aware, not everyone sees them as equally valuable or worthy of life; simply on account of the beautiful skin they’re in.
Am I wrong for inwardly cringing every time I hear anyone say that they are colorblind, since I can’t see that as a good thing? Because to say that you choose to be blind to my color is essentially like suggesting my race is a defect or flaw that is to be politely ignored.
No, I must stop you right there.
Why? Because these are the brown hands that have cooked countless meals, sent texts and letters of support, or held your hands and prayed with and for you. My brown arms have hugged you and held you as you’ve cried, or just needed encouragement. My brown legs and feet have held my solid brown body up as I have walked and worked with you; cheered our children together, and driven all over God’s creation to show up for them. For us. For you. Yes, me. In all of my quirky, snarky, witty marvelously brown glory. Me. Why would I want you or anyone to be blind to that? I wouldn’t. Nor should you.
True love and respect for each other comes from seeing, and acknowledging our differences, while not discounting their value due to comparison or ignorance. Clearly seeing, loving and accepting who we are- without apology or excuse is the starting place for grace, growth and healing. And that’s something we all need right now.
While my heart is encouraged and blessed by the sheer numbers of people who have shown up on their various social media platforms to denounce and decry racist acts, and intentions- am I wrong to want to quietly sit this one out? Maybe let other stronger ones fight this round because I’m overwhelmed and just tired? Because I really am so, so tired. Truly, I just need some time to get myself back; then onto the right and productive side- of being through.