When Ahmaud Arbery couldn’t go for a jog through the neighborhood, I couldn’t understand how two white racists in a truck could feel the courage to act as judge, jury, and executioner. I wept for Ahmaud’s family.
When Breonna Taylor was murdered while she slept – the police broke in looking for someone who’d already been located somewhere else. Her killers only punished for the rounds that missed – my heart was shattered.
It’s been almost one year since we witnessed George Floyd’s murder, and we mourn still. He received some justice, but what about the others? We mourn with their families, communities, and everyone living in oppression.
When I see how the once-free people of Palestine are forced to live – walled up, separated from family, forced from their homes, their unarmed sons and daughters killed in the streets. I find it difficult to understand how they are supposed to remain peaceful in their protest for even basic human rights.
When I see the horror in the eyes of my Israeli friends when they hear the sirens from another rocket attack, I am frightened for them. There are innocents on both sides of the violent conflict caused by politicians who wield others as weapons while hiding in their bunkers. Other countries use the fragile region to fight proxy wars – you see, it’s cheaper for them. The citizens are the only ones who know the real cost.
How are we supposed to help? How are we supposed to get help? How will the mourners find comfort?
Fred Rogers once told us his secret,“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
When I was a boy I had a different teacher – the church. It taught me to look for the oppressed, look for those who mourned, look for those in pain. Why? Because that’s where we were supposed to be. Those are the people we were supposed to stand beside, to comfort, to support. Blessed are the mourners for they will be comforted by us.
When an issue arises and I’m unsure of who to stand with, I take the time to look past the political jargon, listen past the shouting, pay attention and look for the helpers and who actually needs help. Standing with oppressors only neglects the oppressed. Amplifying the voices of those in power only chokes out the powerless.
So I ask myself what I’ll ask you – what are you doing today to comfort those who mourn? What are you doing today to bring freedom to those who are oppressed? What are you doing today to amplify the voices of the powerless?
Let’s be the comfort to a world in mourning.