In an NPR interview, the chief of police of Seattle, Carmen Best, she said the following: "We all want the same thing. We want peace in our streets and we want everyone to be treated equally under the law."
Even though it we have so much in common as Americans, we have drawn lines in the sand; standing in opposition to each other. Black Lives Matter against the Police; Pro-Choice against Pro-Life; Republican against Democrat; Mask-wearing Science Advocates against Non Mask Wearers Fearing a Loss of Liberty.
Peter Marty, editor of The Christian Century, reminds us that as Christians we have some very important tools in our tool box for the polarities we perceive all around us.
He suggests we put down our defensiveness. As he puts it "claw marks don't set you free". We must open ourselves up enough that we can re-examine our personal assumptions and perspectives. If we are willing to listen and learn, we will learn - especially from those we fear or distrust. Jesus said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."
He also encourages us to stop being brittle and reactive. Jesus invites us to take up our cross - essentially that means, embrace the very thing that scares the hell out of you. Face it, face yourself, and allow the grace and power of God to bring resurrection -- that's God's business.
This week, we have seen so much death. We have grieved the news of protesters killed, police killed. We are a nation living under the shadow of death. But more importantly, we are members of the kingdom of God. And that hope will never be extinguished by death. We are called to be peacemakers. May we answer the call.
I WONDER HOW THEY SEE ME
by Jeff Roorda
I wonder how they see me
Behind this shiny shield.
Do they see me for the man I am
My truest self revealed?
Do they see my blemishes and warts
The things I try to hide?
Do they comprehend the evil deeds
Of man I can’t abide?
Do you think they know, with head hung low,
The things I’ve had to see?
Do they reckon I am someone else?
My God, it’s only me!
Can they hear the distant screams I hear
Each time I close my eyes?
Can they feel the warm blood on their hands
Each time someone’s child dies?
As I’m damned with praise on darkest days
Can they perceive my pain?
Do they get I’m not immune to it
Just ‘cause I don’t complain?
Do the children of the cops I love,
Curse me for standing tall?
Emotionless with a stiff, square jaw
As past me goes the pall
Of a fallen brother carted off
To final resting place.
Life taken by the hand of the last
Demon that he faced.
And I wonder how they’ll see me when
It’s me who’s carted by.
Do you think they’ll know how hard I fought?
I didn’t want to die.
Lord, I didn’t want to leave behind
My loved ones and my kids.
I just tried to serve my fellow man
That’s really all I did.
But in the end, my loving God,
I know you’re not surprised
That It only matters how I’m seen
Through Your forgiving eyes.
In honor of fallen Police Officer Tamarris Bohannon, St Louis Metropolitan Police Department, killed in the line of duty last week (shown above). Mr. Jeff Roorda is a member of St. Paul's and works with the STLMPD Police Officers Union.
Rector's Corner posts written by Pastor Rebecca.