My heart breaks over and over again these last few weeks. Yet, in the midst of ministry, I must find ways to move forward and keep teaching our children (of all ages) about peace, justice, and love.
I have not had time to process all that we were exposed to during the Civil Rights Tour we took in June – yet I know in my very being that what is happening all over the world – concerning the death of so many people of color – is directly connected to the lessons offered and the anger and disgust I felt while on said tour. (Which was also amplified by the shooting at The Pulse in Orlando, FL.)
When will we learn from our history? When will we understand the atrocities of our past? When will we break the cycles of injustice and begin to understand one another, listen deeply with one another, and recognize one another as human beings with full rights to life? When will we stop the hate, ignorance, and bias that plagues our communities, our country, our world?
- I realize we do not know the whole story of Philando Castile dying by the hands of police in Falcon Heights, MN, or the death of Alston Sterling at the hands of police in Baton Rouge, LA.
- I know that the lives of our siblings of color matter.
- I realize there are still questions in both incidents.
- I know that the hearts of many are broken by these deaths.
- I realize that there will be actions taken by #blacklivesmatter and some folks will not understand their purpose.
- I know that actions like this are the only things that changed reality during the Civil Rights Movement of our past.
- I realize that police officers put their lives on the line every day and most have very good intentions.
- I know that something *something* went terribly wrong in both of these incidents because two black men are dead – and have been shot by the police.
- I realize that many people are in need to support, prayer, and justice in both of these situations.
- I know that my prayers include black lives, blue lives, and all lives directly and indirectly connected to these incidents.
- I realize these two incidents are just that, specific incidents in which more facts are being collected so that we can all learn more of the truth.
- I know that these incidents are a part of a larger problem in our society in which our systems are broken, biased, and need to be repaired, replaced, and repealed.
- I realize that some folks are going to make assumptions from one side or another about what happened and how the actions of some are or are not justified and should or should not be punished in a court of law.
- I know I will never understand what it is like to fear for my life simply because of the color of my skin, nor do I know what my siblings of color are feeling right now. I hope and I pray that I (we) can learn more, be present, and help someone find hope, as well as empower people to stand up and make a difference that will save lives.
With you, for justice,
Pr Brenda L. Froisland
Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church