(NO)More silence.

Do you remember the horrible video that was trending on the internet showing the aftermath of Philando Castile’s death?  The week all of that happened, was the week that I started to feel alone. Because I couldn’t quit crying over a traffic stop turned murder.

I started reminding Kevin to be safe on the road and checking to make sure he made it to work. I started looking at my son and trying to imagine him as a man that the world would look at differently than I do. But the statuses I read on Facebook, many from people we know and love, didn’t reflect that same kind of upset. Instead, these were the general (and frequently repeated) ideas that I saw:

  • The media just creates racism to separate us. Don’t feed into it and it will go away.
  • Philando Castile probably didn’t have a permit to carry.
  • IF he did in fact have a permit, he probably did something stupid like move abruptly or reach for it.
  • Philando Castile was wanted for a robbery and if you don’t commit crimes, you have nothing to worry about.

Fast forward to present day.

The DA announces that charges will be filed against the officer. After reviewing the full dash cam video, he refutes every single assumption made about Philando Castile. He did have a permit. He did inform the officer correctly. He did keep a calm voice and made no abrupt movements. He was profiled by the officer, pulled over for having a wide set nose which the officer claimed matched a suspect in a robbery. He was NOT involved in a robbery. He was just black.

And guess what? My Facebook feed is silent. The total opposite of the day that video went viral. Make no mistake about it- had the investigation revealed Philando reached for a gun or threatened the officer or was involved in a robbery, my feed would have blown up with comments. It’s happened before.

As long as you believe racism isn’t “a thing” anymore
As long as you are silent when implicit bias happens
As long as you believe that there aren’t people of color who are suffering or that it’s not your job to care or that if people would comply we wouldn’t have problems
NOTHING will change.

Can media coverage inflame things? Sure. But you guys- actual real people are sharing their stories. Real life discrimination is happening and you aren’t listening. Mostly because you aren’t even stopping to ask.

And so for now, there is a large community of people who will continue to imply with actions or words (or maybe with lack of action and silence) one strong belief- that black bodies are dangerous.

It hurts me to type that sentence out. But you can’t tell me it’s not true.

For as long as white women clutch their purses when my husband walks by them, it’s true. For as long as he is watched in stores, it’s true. When he gets pulled over for forgetting to use his turn signal in a turn lane and the officer wants to look in his vehicle with a flashlight and asks why he’s in the area (not expecting he would actually live here) it’s true. When the doctor is sharing the importance that he stay on top of his asthma but feels the need to strongly emphasize that asthma causes death in “inner city people” it’s true. (We live in the suburbs-but whatever.) When guests at his place of business are (unpleasantly) surprised that he’s the one who runs the building, it’s true.

And he just deals. He lets go of the anger and prays for peace over and over again. He rises above. But I resent that he has to do that.

I resent that Kevin is a father, that he nurtures babies in crisis that are not his own, that he provides well for us financially and loves Jesus and works hard and loves to sing along to Journey or Prince and studies spelling words with the kids no matter how tired he is- but to people who don’t know him-he’s reduced to being just a black body. And that underlying belief is there- that black bodies are dangerous to people. So they will fear him or be suspicious of him or assume to know something about him.

And what hurts most is that if you DO know him, you might view him as the exception to your rules. Rules that you may not even admit out loud that you’ve made. Rules you may not even realize you’ve made.

Maybe the media does make things worse. But maybe just because you don’t personally know people who are being discriminated against because of the color of their skin, it doesn’t mean racism is being made up out of thin air because someone wants attention or is playing the victim or is causing division. I got permission from my husband to talk about him today. But I know lots of other stories from lots of other people. Some of those stories much, much worse than anything my husband has experienced. Not media stories…real living and breathing people. And it doesn’t go away just because you ignore it or refuse to acknowledge it. Silence makes us complicit. So I will stop being silent.

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Love.

By now you’ve seen the news. Yesterday’s shooting in Dallas was the deadliest day for law enforcement since September 11, 2001. And we know that darkness does not drive out darkness and hate does not drive out hate but for some reason these things still happen.

With swollen eyes and heavy heart I keep thinking about my children and how to talk to them about all of this. And then I think about all of the children who had daddies a couple days ago and now do not. I am undone.

We say we will teach our children that love is the answer. And it is. But one day our children will come to understand that love for others comes at a great cost. That love is sometimes met with hate, with pain, with anger and we are charged to love anyway. They will come to realize that sometimes unconditional love will mean being misunderstood or despised or rejected. That sometimes a person who loves well is not met with love in return and that it is solely because of skin color or economic status or career choice. That sometimes a group of cops show up to a protest to protect and serve and not to hate or hurt and yet they are not met with gratitude but with gunfire. And all that hate leaves nothing but widows and fatherless children and fear and brokenness.

One day our children will realize that our Savior, in the name of love, laid down his life at the cross and it was bloody and ugly and hard but it was love. And if we are really loving well, we will find ourselves laying down our own wants, needs, desires-our very lives to spend ourselves on behalf of others. Because that’s what Jesus did for us and because it’s the only way.

Love is action, love is sacrifice, love is forgiveness and service and all of those hard things that don’t come naturally to our flesh. But love is a miracle and it will win out in the end. That is what my kids will hear. I will not stop longing or praying for a world that does not repay evil for evil. A world that chooses forgiveness over bitterness. A world where the church would be the great equalizer- known for its peacemaking and unity and its leadership in loving well. I will not stop teaching my kids love-no matter the cost.

Even when we are full of fear, we will choose love. And love will cast out fear.

Dear North American Church

Your silence is deafening today.

I am not so much admonishing (I have no place to) as I am begging. I am a part of your body and I am for you, Church. I love and accept you, flaws and all, and you have embraced me from the time I walked into your doors as a child. Sure we made each other uncomfortable at times, but that’s just family. You are my family. So today I am asking you to help.

Our brothers and sisters scream injustice. With tears and anger and fear they declare that they are abused and discriminated against and that their burden here in the United States is heavy. And we, North American church….we are silent.

We do not say “Come!! We are for you! We are with you! Our God is love! The One we serve says that you can leave Him your heavy burdens and that He will give you rest! Let us show you how! Let us go with you!”

We are silent.

And let me tell you what our silence means…

  • We will ignore our God’s command to mourn with those who mourn if we don’t yet have all the evidence.
  • We will not affirm you or your feelings because it might be viewed as anti-police.
  • Your burdens don’t qualify because you have a criminal record, because you have a foul mouth, because your son resisted arrest. We aren’t sure you’re entitled to your feelings.

Have we forgotten the Jesus who saved the woman who was about to be stoned to death by her accusers? Have we forgotten that what he DIDN’T say was “Look, you screwed this one up….it would be awkward for me to defend you now…I mean, your character is questionable…”? Have we forgotten that the cross is full on evidence that sometimes society doesn’t get it right? That sometimes we punish in the name of justice when it is in fact anything but? Have we forgotten that we ourselves are saved by grace, deserving to be cast off and forsaken but instead met with love and mercy? How did we get to this place?

North American Church-one day God will sit on His throne of judgement and every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. But right now-He sits on a mercy seat, wanting no man to perish.

Are we reflecting that? Or are we just keeping our mouths shut? Worse-are we requiring people to qualify their pain? Are we saying that their pain doesn’t matter if we cannot relate to it?

Can we stop being silent? Can we be a safe place for the weary to come and lay their heavy burdens? Even the weary black woman who lost her son violently? Even the weary police officer unsure of where they stand? Even the weary felon? Even the weary single mother? Even if you disagree with them? Even if they are messy?

Please?

 

 

 

 

 

Sex Trafficking, Abuse…and 50 Shades of Grey?

There is something that has been heavy on my heart for quite a while. The last couple of years actually. And when something weighs on me, that is usually when I come over to my little corner of cyberspace and let it all out. But this time has been different because I dislike writing things that cause people to become defensive. I have dear friends who I know outright disagree with my stance on this subject and I don’t wish to come off as unloving or judgmental.  Hear my heart when I say our choices are our own and I respect that. I simply long to offer another perspective.

I need to talk to you about sex, ya’ll. I know…it’s a little awkward. My Mom reads this blog. Haha! But will you bear with me anyway? Let’s just get through it together.

I think we can all look back on America’s history with slavery and acknowledge how wrong it was. But what many don’t know is that even more slavery exists today than it did back then. It is no longer out in the open for everyone to see, but the slavery “industry” is huge. It is estimated that there are 27 million men, women and children who are being exploited for manual and sexual labor in our world today. 27 million. 12 being the average age of a child sold into sex slavery. There is much to learn about the second largest criminal industry in the world. A great starting point is the A21 Campaign.

We collectively cringe and say that this is unacceptable. We cry tears over little girls kidnapped and raped for someone else’s profit. And we should. But let’s take a deeper look and consider that the criminals who are trafficking little girls are simply following the concept of supply and demand.

There is a demand. And we have inadvertently supported that demand. We have bought into allowing sex to be sold as a commodity. It’s a big business. This is why a book that glamorizes sexual and emotional manipulation and abuse like 50 Shades of Grey can get turned into a movie and open on Valentine’s Day…you know…because it’s so romantic and everything. In actuality girls like “Anastasia” don’t end up with a man who magically gives up his compulsion for control because she changed him. They end up in domestic violence shelters. They end up dead. And I’m not buying into the lie that books and movies like that are simply a form of escapism and that the world recognizes it’s not real. An adult store in New York noticed a 30% spike in BDSM related items after the book gained popularity.  A British man was cleared of assault charges after allegedly beating his lover badly as the couple tried to recreate scenes from the book. She screamed and cried but never once told him to stop as he beat her repeatedly because she knew she agreed to her submissive role in the beginning…and apparently, initial consent is total consent. A 31 year-old man accidentally killed his 28 year-old “sex slave” girlfriend after hitting her 123 times.

I’m not saying that books such as these are about human trafficking. But books such as these glamorize a manipulative form of abuse that women are experiencing behind closed doors all over the world. Admit it or not, what we consume we will eventually reflect. When we consume these types of books and movie, we buy sex. We become consumers of this genre and enforce the idea that sex can be sold like a product. And then we are surprised when people sell sex in more sinister ways.

I urge you to put aside the “it’s all in good fun” and “it’s harmless” mindset and consider the connection.

Some great starting points for your own research include: www.a21.org and http://endsexualexploitation.org/fiftyshadesgrey/

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Until the next blog…be blessed!

Mental Healthcare for the Poor

There are things that weigh very heavily on my heart and mind that never would have had we not adopted Layla or started working with families in crisis. I am grateful for the challenge and for the constant reminder that we must refuse to be complacent. But I wonder how I can take all these thoughts and feelings and turn them into action. I know that we are able to make a difference serving as a host family with Safe Families and through building relationship with those in poverty, but it is overwhelming how many nuances there are in this “crisis world” that I often speak of. It’s all far more complicated than I could have ever imagined.

I’ve been thinking a lot about mental healthcare because of Layla. Recently Layla’s psychiatrist sat us down and basically told us that she felt that Layla’s case was beyond her abilities to treat. She sent us off to find a developmental specialist who could do extensive testing, nailing down some concrete diagnoses and taking it from there. And so the search began. We found that in our huge metroplex, there were only THREE specialists. Of those three, only two of them were taking patients. Thankfully, we have good insurance, and so we had the choice of both. One was an hour away and the other two hours, so we picked the one that was closer. They sent us an estimate of what we would owe after insurance and we certainly had some sticker shock. Thankfully though, we were able to do it. The doctor’s office was fantastic, everyone in there was so knowledgeable and helpful. When we walked through the door the doctor was already well versed on Layla’s history and chart.  It is true that sometimes you get what you pay for. In our time taking Layla to a variety of specialists, we have noticed the more “exclusive” ones are usually pretty amazing.

I have never seen a doctor pay closer attention to a patient, all of her words, every single action. He was like a pediatric mental health genius. At the end of it, we walked away with our pockets a little lighter but FULL of information as well as the official diagnoses we needed to get Layla more helpful treatment. For the last couple of years we have spent so much time and energy trying to put together the complex puzzle that is our sweet big girl. At the end of our time with the specialist I felt like he threw us a ton of puzzle pieces that we had been missing and it was truly priceless. I’m so grateful.

At the same time, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this experience. That we were able to get her this great help because of good insurance. And because of money. And because of a reliable vehicle that can get us an hour’s drive away. All of those things are privilege. And I’m wondering more and more what mental healthcare looks like for the poor. Do their issues go unnoticed or undiagnosed? Does it stop at their primary care physician who just writes some prescriptions and hopes for the best? ‘Is this why we see substance abuse prevalent among the poor? Not because they are “bad” but because they are self-medicating? How does someone with mental health issues hold down a job or become a productive member of society when they are unable to get the help that they need? We still have a long road ahead with our amazing little girl. But is Layla’s future brighter simply because we can afford for it to be? It’s a hard pill to swallow.

One of the Safe Families mothers we have worked with has mental health issues that were only diagnosed after she got into trouble. Apparently this is common. In 2008, one single jail in Harris County Texas was spending $24 million a year on mental healthcare alone. And all too often, inmates get their first diagnosis only after being incarcerated. This particular Mom was able to get on the proper medication and dosage to treat her bipolar disorder without complication. Then her insurance provider stopped covering that particular script. The other medication that took it’s place causes nausea and vomiting and lethargy which she now takes a whole bunch of additional medications for. All because she can’t afford the first prescription.

I’m writing all of this not having any of the answers. But I think that if we are going to adopt the “love thy neighbor” mindset that we need to at least consider the issues that our neighbors struggle with.

Do any of you have thoughts on this? Are there resources or agencies that I’m not aware of that we could stand behind as a family to help? If so, please comment or e-mail me, I’d love to learn more!

Until the next blog…be blessed!

Moving out and finding her worth…

Yesterday, we filled the Suburban to the top, no nook or cranny missed and made the trek to Fort Worth. It was M’s big moving day. M is one of the Mom’s whose girls we hosted twice through Safe Families. I have written about her multiple times because she is a favorite of mine. Over the year we have known each other, we have become family. Watching her come full circle, now moving out of the shelter and into an apartment of her own was overwhelming in the very best way. We had talked ahead of time about the possibility of me taking pictures and telling her story. She eagerly agreed, wanting people to understand that all poor people do not cheat the system. She often gets grouped into that stereotype. She hates it so much that she didn’t even want to accept disability for her daughter who has muscular dystrophy because she didn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea or think she was trying to live off of hand outs. She wants people to know about the world of poverty and how impossibly difficult it is to dig yourself out when you’re doing it the honest way.

I had big plans to take lots of pictures to share with you guys…but mostly it was like any other moving day with things to unpack and children to wrangle so I barely got any. But mostly, it looked a lot like this:

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and this…

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We unloaded the Suburban. Kevin brought in his tool box and did all the assembling while M and I kept the kids under control and went through boxes. She cried when she stood in the kitchen and realized it was hers. I’ll never forget that. We listened to the kids say that they were hungry and I watched her get uneasy. She had already confessed that with her recent $0.75 raise at work that she lost half of her food stamps. She confessed animosity towards the girls at the shelter who don’t work at all and get 3x the support she does while she works long hours in a nursing home kitchen half the time and as a CNA the other half. We talked about how the right thing and the easy thing are seldom the same but that God honors integrity. 

We went through a couple of things that were donated from a nearby nonprofit. We figured we’d be able to find the girls something to eat from the box of food they brought. As we sorted through, a lump formed in my throat and I got sick to my stomach. The boxes of donations screamed to me that women like M are not of any value to the world. How can she know her worth when all she’s ever experienced in her life is other people’s throw away stuff?

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Those bananas had a thin film of white mold along the backside of them…which was gross, but nothing compared to the green fuzzy mold that had accumulated on the bread and tomatoes. The small bag of canned food held promise, until we read the expiration dates mostly consisting of 2010 and 2011. I blinked away tears and we put away a can of tomato soup, a couple cans of veggies, a small bag of cheetos and an orange. M immediately peeled the orange and cut it into 5 equal pieces for her girls and my kids and I wanted to scream, “STOP IT! Don’t you give that food to my kids….you feed your babies!” but instead I thanked her for her generosity. The kids continued to play and we sorted through the bag of non-food items that came along with the other donations. She already moved the couch to the dumpster and we quickly saw why. It smelled like urine and bugs had made their home on the inside of it long ago. That someone could say  “give this to the single Mom moving out of the shelter, it’ll be fine for her” blows my mind. Donations like that show her what society thinks of her. I hate that. What are we saying about her value that it’s even acceptable to give her these things? Still, not an ill word spoken from her. I asked her how she felt about all of it and she just said “I don’t want to complain, I’m grateful for everything.” The last thing to go through was a plastic bag. And she pulled out 3 shoes…nope, not 3 pairs of shoes, literally 3 shoes.

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M is a single Mom who works long hours, has an almost 2 year old who is constantly on turbo and a 3 year old with special needs. There is no such thing as fancy dresses or going out anywhere. But these were the 3 shoes. They were 4 inch lacy heels and at this point all we could do was laugh. We made jokes about how there should have been a piece of paper included that said “Can you please throw this stuff away for us?” and also some more crass jokes about the types of occupations one might have needing shoes like that. And sorry if it all sounds offensive or ungrateful, I just wish you could have seen her defeated face overshadowing her grateful, humble words. We’ve got to do better.

If they knew M, they would have set aside the best of the best for her. If they knew her story, they would have known she is worth more than moldy food and mismatched shoes. She moved from Puerto Rico leaving an impoverished area, but also all of her family and security, behind. When she left Puerto Rico she had 0 high school credits. The first thing she did when she got to Texas was find an alternative school that would let her work at her own pace so she could get her diploma. It was really important to her that she got to have a diploma instead of a GED. And what takes most kids four years to accomplish, M accomplished in less than a year. She worked tirelessly to complete all of her classes and at the age of 19 received her diploma.

She knew she was on the right track, and when she fell in love she thought she’d get all she dreamed of when she moved from Puerto Rico. First an education, then a family, and then her dream career. She started her family, marrying who she believed to be the love of her life and basking in the security of it.

They had their first baby when things took a turn. There was fighting…so much fighting. It got worse when he started dealing with his anger by self-medicating. One day, she had no choice but to get the police involved. She said she would press charges, but was afraid she would get in trouble, too because admitting abuse meant she exposed her baby to that abuse. The officers assured her that they would never punish a victim, but the next day CPS came and took her baby away. Her husband in prison, her baby in foster care, she was lost. Soon after she would find out that she was pregnant again. She sold everything she had to afford an attorney. She spent all of her savings and went into debt to fight for her daughter. She took all the classes required of her to have her parental rights restored and in the process lost her job. When the judge ordered she be reunited with her daughter he told her, “I want you to know that this almost never happens.”

She had her daughter back but had nothing else left. And so came the shelter.  When we met her, we were taking in her girls who were then 9 months old and 1 1/2 years old. She said she’d never use a program like Safe Families, but then she broke her foot. The girls couldn’t stay at the shelter alone so it was either us or CPS. She didn’t have much of a choice. She was guarded and protective. I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t just let us in. I didn’t know that the last time someone came and took her baby, she lost everything to bring her back. In time, we began to trust each other. We became friends. We started talking because we genuinely enjoyed each other. No because she was a charity case, not because she wanted anything from us, but because God was molding the most wonderful friendship. And then one day she found out that my Daddy is Puerto Rican and all bets were off. She was sold. And we became family.

We’ve rejoiced with her when she got her CNA, and got a better job. We’ve mourned with her when she lost said job because it wouldn’t work with her childcare hours. She called me crying when her daughter was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and I cried to her when I was stressed out about Layla’s struggles. She has nothing to give and yet she always says, “If you need anything, I’m here.” And she’d give me the little she has without a second thought because that’s just the way she is. 

Kevin snuck out and ran to Walmart and when he came back we started unloading groceries. M’s tired face softened and she was mostly silent. I couldn’t tell if she was embarrassed or overwhelmed but I didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable so we left the groceries in their bags and I just hugged her really tight.  I told her we had to get the kids to bed but that we loved her and would see her soon. Kevin would later tell me that the girls immediately started tearing into the yogurt because they were so hungry. M would later confess that the girls were just going to have that bag of donated cheetos for dinner. When we got in the car we talked about how therapeutic it is to serve others. We talked about how easy it is to love someone who is so different than you and how it’s so obvious that love comes from God. We talked about how easily we can take for granted our own full pantry until we see an empty one.

Then my phone rang. We were maybe 10 minutes out and it was already M. She was sobbing. She said that she didn’t want to cry in front of us, but now she couldn’t stop. She told me that no one in her life actually meant it when they said they loved her or that they were there for her. She said this is the first time. She said she had been sitting there while the girls ate wondering how she was going to repay us. She said that she hoped I knew that she was always there for us, too. And I begged God that the little that we’ve been able to do for her would help show her that she has value and worth.

I told her that everything that we’ve been able to do for her has been because the Lord has provided for us and that He was using that provision to provide for her, too. And that He loved her so much, that even if He hadn’t sent us, He would have sent SOMEONE. It’s not because we are good people or because we just have so much extra to give, it is because He loves her so much that He has sent help. We talked about the way God brought us together to be family and that He is a good Father who takes care of his children and where we might fail her as family, because we are human, that He will never fail her. I pray she comes to know this deep in her soul.

I pray that God will send helpers to the M’s all over the world. There are so many. And I pray that all of you reading this will learn the faces and the names of poverty and take them by the hand and walk with them. And I pray that it changes their lives and changes your life the way it has ours. I pray that when you drop your boxes of donations off to the shelters or the food pantries, that you think of the single Mom moving out on her own for the very first time and that you will put the best of what you have in that box and that in return, she will feel like she has worth.

Until the next blog…be blessed.

What about MY son?

Can I be frank with you guys? The reason I despise talking about racial tension is because if I say we still have a problem, I am diminished to being nothing more than the white wife of a black man. To many, it seems that OF COURSE I’m going to feel that way because my husband must have influenced my opinion. If I had married a white man, perhaps my feelings would be considered. But because of who I chose to marry and because my babies’ skin is darker than mine, my opinion is skewed. It feels pointless. But seriously? I am ill over the countless stories on the news. And I am appalled by our sleepy nation and our collective unwillingness to wake up. Not just to the black men being shot down or put into choke holds forced to suffocate by police. But by Christian children being cut in half by radicals in Iraq. And by women being kidnapped and forcibly sold for sex until they reach the point that they’d rather die than continue. But all of that is too much for one post, so today let’s talk about the racism that we have to stop assuming doesn’t exist anymore.. Let’s say names and tell stories and determine that this is unacceptable. And you can think that my opinion is skewed…and maybe you’re right. One day though, a cop may decide that my son looks more black than white and in today’s climate that makes me feel afraid. If that makes me biased, then so be it.

I remember the first time Kevin was pulled over while I was in the car with him. We had been dating a couple of years and we were on our way to see a Christmas tree lighting. Kevin had recently got a new car and the temporary tag had fallen and was not visible to law enforcement.

It never occurred to me that there was a reason to be scared of the police. When I was a child my father got pulled over because I was holding up signs in the back that said “There’s a cat on your roof” and another driver didn’t think it was as funny as I did. He was nice, he cracked a joke and let us go before asking that we stick to signs that said things like “Hi!” instead.

One time in college I failed to yield and I was pulled over. The officer sympathized with how busy college life can be and warned me to be careful and that was the end of that.

It was different in the passengers seat with the black man I would one day call my husband. I saw a flashlight shine in his rear window as the officer inspected the inside of the car. To this day, a police officer has not done that to me. For Kevin though, it has been a consistent occurrence. I could only see the officer from the shoulders down but I will never forget the way his hand looked when he placed it over his gun holster on his belt and said “Have you ever been arrested before?”

I have learned that it is possible to take a tone with a person that says exactly what you wish you could say to them without using the words. I didn’t know about that tone until I listened to that officer speak to Kevin. And I remember Kevin using a calm and respectful tone in return. Because that’s how he was raised. And I wonder had he been raised differently or if he had less patience for that officer’s attitude, if we would have found ourselves in a scarier situation. Thankfully another, much kinder, officer pulled up who took over and we quickly transitioned back to a routine traffic stop.

I could tell you that we’ve moved beyond the place in our nation where people are judged by their skin color but then I would remember that we are terrified to drive through certain states when we go to visit my parents. That one time we made a pit stop in a town where we were clearly not welcome and for a moment I feared what an angry old man would do to myself and my daughter as we walked out of the restroom. I still cry when I think about the way he looked at us and the tone he used that screamed hatred and disgust when he whispered.

I don’t like talking about this in a public forum. But we need to talk. About all of it. We are afforded the luxury of shutting the t.v. off and not paying attention for the sake of our comfort, but then nothing will change. And I’m begging you to long for change. I have babies growing up in this world who need to know they can trust the police. I never want my son to know what it feels like for an officer to try to intimidate him by putting his hand over his gun as he speaks. I never want my daughters to feel that life would have been easier for them had they been all white instead of half.

Join me. In the aching. In the praying. In the acting whenever we can, however we can. Speak truth. And stop turning the t.v. off for the sake of comfort. People are dying. We can’t be okay with that.

Until the next blog…be blessed.