When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.
We’ve been here before, but we’ve never walked this ground. This mother hadn’t lost her son before that tragic day. This officer hadn’t taken another human life until that moment. This community had not experienced days of open grieving, anger and unrest. This pain and history is tied to mine but not my lived experience. How do I even begin to know how to respond, be present in a compassionate and loving way that does not incite or make assumptions? How do I not excuse the system that has allowed this tragedy to happen?
I don’t know. And my reluctance to even write about Ferguson on the blog is because of my fear of not knowing. My not knowing what will help. My not knowing what will make it worse. A part of me wants to physically be there in solidarity as a peaceful presence but I’m unsure if that is best or even how to be there. And another part doesn’t want to be there at all, if I am honest. I find myself caught in this middle place.
At the August LCWR gathering in Nashville, Nancy Schreck, OSF shared this wisdom about living in this middle place:
Importantly, this middle place calls for theology of witness in which we cannot assume presence or straightforward resolution. It calls for witness to events that exceed the parameters of death and yet cannot so easily be identified as life. It is about imagining the form of God’s presence and power arising in the places when life is least discernible. It is precisely at these edges of comprehension, that the possibility of something else arises. In this time all of our fixed categories are broken open. In order to negotiate the space we need to be able to keep complexities in tension and speak from their creative crossing.
Right now, I am trying to be open to where the Spirit of truth calls me to. For now, I feel all I can do is pray. I pray for healing. I pray that I will take an active part in that healing. I pray I will not settle for the easy comfort of quick action but a willingness to sit with the discomfort of waiting. I pray that when the crisis is no longer news that I will not abandon this call. I pray I will be willing to still be here, in partnership with friends, neighbors, seeking together a way to heal and transform our broken system.
For what do you pray?
Waiting on the path,