It’s been one week.
One week since America as a whole was shook. Not for the first time; no. Certainly not for the last time, unfortunately. However, significantly enough that multiple generations, and communities of people throughout those generations, started paying attention.
I took some time to rest and reflected on what has unfolded after last week’s brutality between civilians and police. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were murdered by police. Then 5 Dallas police officers, Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael J. Smith, Brent Thompson, and Patrick Zamarripa, died in service protecting the people in downtown Dallas from a man misled. Each man left a hole in their families because another man decided to pull the trigger.
It’s only been one week since I was proudly celebrating America’s independence, then desperately, tortoisely, trying to move into a new rhythm by week’s end. It has not been business as usual; and it shouldn’t be.
You know where I found inspiration in the chaos? It was the voices of people in my communities (work, church, and yes, even Facebook). I held my breath waiting for folks to show their true colors like so many times before. And, thanks be to God, I discovered that many in my community had finally reached a point where they made the decision to take their blinders off and paint with a different brush.
People of color can’t sit heartbroken and unnoticed among our friends and co-workers. Our lives are lived beyond that of our family and the spaces we step into are either safe, or not. So, when I began seeing my white colleagues and friends post their acknowledgement of systemic racism in America and how they benefit from it, followed by a call for change because #BlackLivesMatter, I began to exhale.
When I joined my prayer group and the leader refocused our time to pray for our country and the lives of our marginalized countrymen, I was uplifted. And, when I learned that many more prayer groups were created across the country to do just the same, I was lifted higher.
Having a few white colleagues reach out to me to be a listening ear because they sensed how upset I was gave me companionship. Seeing other people of color promote the good will of law enforcement in conjunction with promoting unity in our country, instead of solely discrediting those in uniform, has been reassuring. Especially because I am the daughter of a law enforcement officer (retired).
And, finally, the inspiration that resounded deeply, was the safe space created at my house of worship when my pastor (who is white) spoke from the pulpit to address the inequality many of our brothers and sisters in Christ experience everyday.
These inspirations shining out of the chaos of this world could not have occurred had I not first known from where my hope derives. Because without this Hope, none of these peacemakers would exist. “In the world you will have trouble, but be courageous––I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33) My hope is steadfast and secure; I know that the victory has already been won.
A peacemaker brings the light of Christ into every space they land. Jesus is the peace and the hope this world is desperately searching for. As I look to be an inspiration to others, I know I must carry this light and love. People need it, now more than ever.
Who has been a peacemaker in your life? Let me know in the comments!
xo | Danielle