There are No Words and Yet I Write

shutterstock_90981842Airbrush illustration courtesy Leonello Calvetti

Our country and our world is quickly becoming a shit show. I’m sure those who read this soon after it’s posted will know what I’m talking about, but I’m referencing all of the terrible things going on in the world that make it feel like everything is falling apart. Like a lot of people, I’m grieving tonight. I’m grieving over hate and death, animosity, racism, xenophobia, fear, terror. I’m grieving alongside my black brothers and sisters who are repeatedly reminded of how much they have to be afraid of day in and day out and who can’t stand to lose one more of their own. I’m terrified of the inevitable backlash that’s coming after tonight’s events in Dallas.

My spirit tells me I have to join the fight but my body is exhausted, my mind can’t fathom what action to take, and my heart has overheated trying to produce the requisite emotions to respond to all the tragedies that are so deserving of my attention. I don’t know if I have anything left in me with which to fight and yet I can’t give up when tsunamis of pain and anger continue to wash over humanity. I can’t hide away in my room trying to squeeze out the last few tears I have in me.

After months of trying to figure out the proper way to display my LGBTQ activism, I determine that what made the most sense for me was to become a punching bag. To let the people who are angry and afraid throw punches while I absorbed them and returned only love and understanding. You may think this is a sad excuse for activism and you may be right, but it’s what felt right to me. Unfortunately, this same strategy can’t work when I’m fighting for my black brothers and sisters. I can’t be a punching bag because the fists aren’t aimed at me and I can’t ask those who are the targets to react in the same way; they’ve already taken too many blows.

I guess the point of this post is twofold: first, to selfishly complain about how the recent tragedies have affected me. Second, to hopefully act as a rallying cry for those who read it to do what I’m sometimes afraid I can’t do. To stand up for justice and peace and righteousness in whatever way you are able. To welcome the stranger and offer protection to the outcast. To be a light of God’s love in the inky blackness outside our windows. To act in a way that makes Him proud of us.

One final note: I often mistakenly use prayer as a last resort. I try to be self-sufficient and to make it on my own, only turning to God when I’m out of hope. This is one of those times. I feel helpless to do the slightest bit of good to stem the tide of evil that may have already overtaken us. All I can do is offer my tears and honest prayers to Him and to beg for His love and mercy to be poured out before another innocent is killed and our world’s collective heart breaks irreparably.