Protesters are reconcilers.
Resisting, fighting, saying no!!! is not the manifestation of the absence of peace.
It can be. But it doesn’t have to be.
Resistance is not unequivocally crass, selfish, rebellion.
Peace is not necessarily the presence of calm.
Think of a time that you have exhibited calm when your heart was raging. Is that the kind of “peace” we want? That’s just performance.
True peace is not performance.
We are being too simple beloved, when we label protesters as immature, childish, aimless and other things I’ve heard.
I can have an exterior of peace with a heart at war.
I can be an antagonizer or a truth teller.
I can be a complainer or a reconciler.
I can be a bitter black woman lost in the struggle.
Or I can be an angry black woman with purpose, pressed down, but not destroyed.
And display some pretty similar behaviors.
I can protest because it’s a trend or because I know it’s right. With every fiber of my being, because I know it’s right.
Or I can do it with uncertainty.
My point is that protesters are no less righteous than pastors…politicians…pacifists…or dare I say it…even police.
Protesters may be more righteous at times actually. And some of them might be less.
Personally, I am so proud of those protesting in the streets.
I’m so proud. Why? Because they are bearing witness to the violence in the hearts of many across this nation. They are crying out! We have some moral and spiritual bankruptcy in our nation that has had violent impact – not just physically – on our peoples. I feel the violence psychologically. I feel the violence in my soul and it deteriorates me. I am grateful for the protesters. The dream defenders.
They say wake up! This stops now! I can’t breathe! By “disturbing” the peace, they are actually just revealing the lack of peace that has existed in our nation since it’s birth. Yes – this is a great nation. And also yes, this nation of ours has also been grossly deaf to the cries of it’s people since we began. The fabric of our country is blood stained from a cornerstone built with injustice and oppression. It’s definitively part of who we are. We are bleeding. And always have been.
The protesters are saying listen, listen, listen. Our land is groaning. This isn’t just about Ferguson. We are hemorrhaging from centuries of brokenness. We need a healing far deeper than we realize.
Thank you protesters. Because true reconciliation requires deep pain. Deep ability to mourn, to feel, to suffer together. Weep together. Heal together.
We can’t just skip over to hugs and love and kisses on foreheads and “everyone is welcome” talk. Oh no beloved. That just will not do.
We must recognize the brokenness.
This doesn’t mean that every single protester is in it for the right reasons. Or that some of them don’t make bad choices.
It means that protesters should be respected and valued for their role in reconciliation. Again, keeping “peace” because of the fear of disruption is not actually about peace. It’s about corporate co-dependency.
It’s about playing nice and about false unity.
Authentic healing requires some pain. Some discomfort.
I heard a preacha man say that we are all called to be reconcilers.
Ohhhhh honey child….mhhhhmmmmmm.
If that is true.
If that is of God.
Which I believe it is.
Then that means, deep calling to deep, in some form or fashion, we are also called to protest.
Maybe not on the streets.
But in some way.
With your words.
Let’s wake up! And be protesting, peace loving, honest, lamenting, courageous, kind, angry with hearts of love, reconcilers.
I’m in. I’m all in.
How about you?
Well ya know…I’m working on the heart of love. It must be actively maintained. Sometimes it’s hard to hear the love in the midst of all the violence. So I have to grow very very still…I have to pause and let the Father bring me back to love. And He does.
Still angry. Everyday. All day.
Yet governed with love.
Lord have Mercy. Christ have Mercy.