I am at home today with my two daughters, on pins and needles, as I await to hear the verdict on the indictment of Officer Wilson in relation to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
There is a reason this matters to me – and although it is obviously more personal to me now that I am the mother of a black child, it sure does not begin or end there.
I was in college when the L.A. riots occurred following the shooting of Rodney King. At the time, I was a student leader of Multicultural Student Fellowship on my campus.
And as it so happens, just months after the riot, our national conference was held in Los Angeles.
I’ll be honest.
I expected to walk into that conference to a sea of angry faces. And I would not have blamed them. Not one bit. Even though I was only 21 years old and very much a novice when it came to the intricacies of racism, I knew enough to know that the depth of emotion was more than justified.
Here’s the thing.
Anger was not a part of this community of people.
There are a few definitions of resolve that apply here::
1. to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine (to do something).
2. to convert or transform by any process.
3. to deal with (a question, a matter of uncertainty, etc.) conclusively; settle; solve.
Resolve is active.
It is courageous.
It is determined.
It weaves itself with vision.
And it requires a collective response.
For this white college student with a genuine heart for justice and very little real life experience, I was given a huge gift that weekend.
I was surrounded by black leaders from all over the country who radiated insurmountable courage by choosing to teach on and exemplify in person, the power of reconciliation clothed in Truth and Resolve.
Make no mistake – anger flared off and on all weekend as the community raised their fists, acknowledged their grief, shared their tears, lifted their prayers together as testimony after testimony was given. Testimony on behalf of a broken system.
But I will never, EVER forget the resolve.
As I await the verdict today,
Almighty God, who created us in your image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
-Book of Common Prayer
I am linking my heart and my hands with my brothers and sisters.
I am joining them in prayer,
and I am joining them in