I’ve been sitting in the stories of Ahmaud Arbery as I come across them. Sitting, reading, listening, praying, considering, mourning. I ran with them beating on my chest.
I’ve been sitting on this from @JahnaRiley: “Question for the white folks on my tl: What are you doing to make sure that you’re raising children who won’t kill mine?”
And then we watched Becoming this weekend and felt more American pride than I have in awhile. I remembered why I loved the Obamas, why I read all their biographies, and why I’d vote #michelleforpresident any day. One scene in particular stayed with me, though: a little boy, maybe about ten years old, screaming and celebrating as the Obamas entered the White House. A little boy of color celebrating a President of color; someone that looks like him, entering the White House.
Today, my son laid on my chest as I read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, where he writes about the snap, subconscious decisions we make. He talks about race, about our implicit biases, about the dark judgements we want to pretend aren’t there.
But they are.
Gladwell quotes Aronson, a psychologist, “After the O.J. Simpson verdict, one of the jurors appeared on TV and said with absolute conviction, ‘Race had absolutely nothing to do with my decision.’ But how on earth could she know that? What my research…show(s) is that people are ignorant of the things that affect their actions, yet they rarely feel ignorant. We need to accept our ignorance and say ‘I don’t know’ more often.”
I think today I just need to sit in the I don’t knows.
This weekend Stephen and I finished reading Generous Justice by Timothy Keller. In the last chapter he writes, “God created all things to be in a beautiful, harmonious, interdependent, knitted, webbed relationship to one another…This interwovenness is what the Bible calls shalom, or harmonious peace. ‘Shalom’ is usually translated ‘peace’ in English Bibles, but it means far more than what our English word conveys. It means complete reconciliation, a state of the fullest flourishing in every dimension—physical, emotional, social, and spiritual—because all relationships are right, perfect, and filled with joy. …Specifically, however, to ‘do justice’ means to go to the places where the fabric of shalom has broken down, where the weaker members of societies are falling through the fabric, and to repair it. …The only way to reweave and strengthen the fabric is by weaving yourself into it.”
This weekend was also American Mother’s Day. My first since we brought home our son, and falling exactly one week before we celebrate one year as a family of three.
We’ve been weaving ourselves together for nearly a year.
We’re trying to weave ourselves into a community that speaks a different language than all of three of us.
We’re trying to figure out how to weave ourselves into the healing of racism around the world.
We’re trying to weave ourselves into justice.
But I am ignorant in all of these things.
I don’t know how to use my privilege to bring reconciliation.
I don’t know how to raise a son of color or adoption; of shalom, of reconciliation.
I don’t know how to reweave the brokenness of my neighborhood, nor our world.
Somehow, all of these are colliding together, demanding connections and conclusions that aren’t my specialty.
Overwhelmed for myself, and how I blink; how to weave myself into shalom.
Overwhelmed by my own ignorance.
Overwhelmed for my country, my friends, my family, my son.
Overwhelmed for justice.