Spirit-filled people celebrate, honor, and weep

Posted by Fr. Tere on 07/09/2016

Dallas BadgeWe weep – a week for weeping – once again – in all of America.

Two young black men, Philando Castile & Alton Sterling, were shot and killed by police in Minnesota and in Louisiana – whether those shootings were “good” shootings is irrelevant. There is a belief and fear among a section of the population that if you are male and black the police/ man/Gestapo/cops are on a mission to murder you. And from stories I hear, some type of fear is foreseeable. I know there is a horrific history between police and black men that stretches back generations and covers all of the country, whether the bluest “we have no prejudices” or the reddest “the only good n…r is a dead n…r.” I’ve lived where each of those was prevalent, often within a block or two! Incidentally, I’ve found that the more conservative, Christian areas exhibit the least (blatant) prejudice – the statistics will bear that out.

We weep – for the two young men and their families and friends, for all of those who are put more in fear for their lives, for all those activated to seek redress, to march, to chant, peacefully.

We weep – for the families and friends of five Dallas Police or Dallas Area Rapid Transit Agency officer executed by ambush, sniper fire. These men are Officers Brent Thompson (DART), and Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Kroll, Michael Smith, and Lorne Ahrens (DPD).

We weep – for the family and friends of Micah X Johnson, who has been identified as the lone assassin in Dallas, who also wounded several others. A hero gone awry.

We weep – and reflect, always knowing that Jesus is Lord and the Kingdom of God is at hand.

We weep – lost in all the chaos of July 7th have been a couple of wonderful things.

First, although the protest rallies were numerous and filled with thousands who were angry, confused, questioning, fearful – there was no major violence in any of the cities from the marchers. They were peaceful and just wanted to get their points across.

Second, the police in each of the cities were overwhelmed with numbers – no one expected the huge numbers of the marchers. In New York City, three of the main avenues were closed down – New York blocks are huuuge (as Donald would say), so the numbers were in the many thousands, but no violence, either against the police or property. There were also people of many races, ethnicities, sexualities, creeds, etc. the police displayed an openness, lack of defensiveness, and peacefulness. Feeling overwhelmed, they could have responded with shows of force – they didn’t. Reports in Dallas said the people and police were freely mingling, talking, laughing, and getting along with one another. Many of the officers were asked to join in selfies. That atmosphere was relaxed, without no overt fear –

until a terrorist decided to assassinate white police officers.

We wept –watching until the fear of more killings was over – the terrorist now dead after executing the fifth officer. In the time between the first shots and the death of terror, the police exhibited only a duty of protection for those at the rally. They worked tirelessly to get people to shelter, away from where they thought the shooter was hiding. Yes, they shouted; yes, they made people move. But only for their protection. Protect and serve.

Can you imagine how frightened each and every officer was? They had no idea what was happening, how many were shooting, from where they were shooting, if they were up high or at street level. Yet they stayed in the open and helped – “to protect and serve” personified.

We weep – as Christians praying – for the nation, the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, the families, friends, fellow officers, the wounded, the frightened, the angry. The very least we can do – storm heaven for our nation, begging God to send the Holy Spirit to convict and call to repentance the sinner.

We weep – and get involved – with those marginalized, being passed by. We cannot stop the violence, but we can work with children as tutors, mentors, CASA volunteers, Big Brothers/Sisters, etc. We have an imperative to help break the cycles of poverty, unemployment, addiction, welfare slavery.

Remember, when Jesus oversaw the sorting of sheep and goats, he said, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me - Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."

Weep with and for America.

weeping eagle on American flag

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