This morning I woke up wondering how Baltimore City had fared overnight. I checked in with some folks who live and work in the City, did my prayer work and then went to work. I stopped for coffee at the local deli and gas station. It felt so strange to be in public this morning out among the people. I wanted to connect with someone. I did managed to make eye contact with a few people but it felt like a lukewarm attempt at best. As I walked back to my car an African American woman came up to me and handed me a Jehovah Witness tract. Normally I would have dismissed her but this time I immediately thanked her for reaching out and we began to talk about last night. I listened as she shared her concern and her feelings. I told her I was grateful for the connection and we hugged.
As some of you know, yesterday I put out a call for prayer to know peace and Oneness. My prayer was answered as I felt like I’d seen the underbelly of my own pain in the anger and violence I witnessed last night. It’s dark and it’s sad and I don't want to believe that what I witnessed could ever live within me. But then I remember the times I've felt disrespected and the inner anger I've felt when I didn't feel heard. Admittedly I don't get destructive when this happens but I can't dismiss what I saw last night as not mine either.
Last night I yearned for another Martin Luther King to step up and lead us in that way he did. Reminding us to love each other while not backing down from what’s right. I guess we need to be our own MLKs – to reach down and call upon the best in ourselves to be willing to hear the cries of pain and discord and allow it to break us open so that we can love each other more fully…. Sometimes we do that by having difficult conversations, sometimes we do that by participating in peace marches or prayer vigils and sometimes it’s as simple as receiving someone who reaches out to you so they know that they've been seen and heard.
... or maybe it would be easier to just go about our business. Well the choice is yours, for now I am reaching out and looking for opportunities to listen to as many people as I can.
I hear you, I see you, your life matters to me.