“We build on foundations we did not lay.
We warm ourselves at fires we did not light.
We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.
We drink from wells we did not dig.
We profit from persons we did not know.
We are ever bound in community."

Rev. Peter Raible (paraphrased from Deuteronomy 6:10-12)

Monday, November 24, 2014

What Comes Next?

My heart is full and I'm holding so many in prayer right now, as I take in the news from Ferguson.
I'm not surprised by the Grand Jury's decision, but I am heartbroken. I am angry. And I'm clearer than I've ever been about how my faith calls me (as a white man) to truly work for racial justice: to deeply understand race, racism, and whiteness, the way it works and moves in the world, and to work for justice.
I also am clear that Ferguson is not about Ferguson. Ferguson is a tipping point, a moment where the question is called, and the question is, "Will white America finally awake up? Will white America finally stand with and follow the lead and leadership of people of color? Will white America truly listen to the stories and experiences of people of color? Will good intentioned white Americans refuse to be silent any longer and reach out to their other white friends and work for change?"
Ferguson is not about Ferguson. Ferguson is about New York City, Cleveland, Sanford, Minneapolis, and countless other cities. Ferguson is about people of color being targeted and killed by police on a regular basis.
For me, as a white man, a husband, a father, and a minister, Ferguson is about the soul of our country. It is a question about which way the arc of the universe will bend. It is about whether we will deepen the racial nightmare we've been living in for the past 400 years or find a way to create a world is which all might flourish.
I go to sleep tonight with prayers reaching across time and space to all those who mourn and grieve, to all those who ache and are weary, and to all those who will rise tomorrow, grounded in righteous love and anger, working to build a new world and a new way.

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