Our inability to prevent bad things from happening does not undermine our ability to care for others. Pain is a part of human existence, but like Jesus we can respond with compassion and work for healing in our communities. Matthew was martyred, we cannot change history. Our government is perpetuating violence, we do not have the immediate power to stop this reign of terror. What we can do is pay attention to our community and care for our LGBTQ+ siblings. We can do both immediately in an embodied way and also by advocating for institutional and governmental changes that affirm the dignity of all people.
For a white American like me there is no such thing as “heritage not hate.” Whether or not we are waving confederate flags, white inheritance is a legacy of colonization and violence perpetrated against indigenous Americans, black people, immigrants, and other marginalized communities. To deny this is an active choice to silence the voices of those people who our ancestors oppressed and who are still harmed by white dominance today. To acknowledge racism as our inheritance does not mean utter condemnation. Actually, telling the truth is a step towards creating a new way of being.
God will not use you in ways that you do not permit. God wants you and God created you in God’s image, autonomy and all. God calls us into relationship that is filled with mutual respect. God desires to fill your heart with love. God made you, God knows you, God believes you.
How do men under constant supervision obtain illegal drugs? Most likely the drugs are smuggled in by the prison employees tasked with their care. How is it possible for inmates to alter their state to the point of death without anyone noticing? The obvious answer is neglect. Why does an intervention come only at the point of removing a dead body from the cell? This is our reality because we live in a state that values retribution over restoration.