This morning I went to Foundry United Methodist Church in the heart of DC, Secretary Clinton’s home church, as well. With heavy hearts and hopeful prayers, this litany was inside their bulletin and read aloud. I hope we take this to heart.
Let us not rush to the language of healing, before understanding the fullness of the injury and the depth of the wound.
Let us not rush to offer a band-aid, when the gaping wound requires surgery and complete reconstruction.
Let us not offer false equivalences, thereby diminishing the particular pain being felt in a particular circumstance in a particular historical moment.
Let us not speak of reconciliation without speaking of reparations and restoration, or how we can repair the breach and how we can restore the loss.
Let us not in our privilege opt out of the terror and tragedy of this week; nor in that same privilege rush past the stories and names of those whose lives were so violently stolen: Alton Sterling, Philando Castilo, Patrick Zamarripa, Brent Thompson, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens, and Michael Smith.
Let us not value property over people; let us not protect material objects while human live s hang in the balance.
Let us not value a false peace over a righteous justice.
Let us not be afraid to sit with the ugliness, the messiness, and the pain that is life in community together.
Let us not offer cliches to the grieving, those whose hearts are being torn asunder nor forget the terror and heartbreak of those who were witness to these crimes; mothers and daughters, storeowners and community activists, and the law enforcement community in Dallas.
Let us mourn black and brown men and women, those killed extrajudicially every 28 hours.
Let us lament the loss of fathers and sons, of caregivers to our children and those who serves as first responders in our communities.
Let us weep at a criminal justice system, which is neither blind nor just.
Let us call for the mourning men and the wailing women, those willing to rend their garments of privilege and ease, and sit in the ashes oft his nation’s original sing.
Let us be silent when we don’t know what to say.
Let us be humble and listen to the pain, rage, and grief pouring from the lips of our neighbors and friends.
Let us decrease, so that our brothers and sisters who live on the underside of history may increase.
Let us pray with our eyes open and our feet firmly planted on the ground.
Let us continue to opt in–in our prayers and despite our privilege, by educating ourselves and extending sacred community.
God, in your mercy…
Show me my own complicity in injustice.
Convict me for my indifference.
Forgive me when I have remained silent.
Equip me with a zeal for righteousness.
Never let me grow accustomed or acclimated to unrighteousness. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, through whose life, death, and resurrection you are restoring the world. Amen.
-Dr. Yolanda Pierce, adapted for use at Foundry United Methodist Church.