United We Stand

Heavenly Father, write my words…

Loss of life and the noise of the crowd has exhausted me lately, and I’ve spent some time draped over furniture, face down, weeping, and praying. And weeping…with usual life routines standing neglected, all round me.

Back in the noisy crowd at our town’s football games, and years ago, the cheerleaders did a cool bit that went like this, with some great, old-school choreography:

“United we stand/divided we fall/the mighty lions/will conquer all.”

I could probably still do this cheer if some of you want to join me, and I’ll direct, if I can stand at the back.

After some clapping, stiff-arm moving and change in positions, the cheer ends with:  “GO. FIGHT. WIN.”

Long before my high school days, divide-and-conquer was a tactic used to defeat people and gain power. I recently and quite accidentally caught this quality piece of journalism on PBS one night while channel surfing:

The Secret History of ISIS

Oh, to be a reporter for someone doing such solid work…

One thing I found interesting about ISIS tactics is that, according to this report, they purposely find an area of instability and move in, doing brutal harm to fellow Muslims, if necessary, to cause a civil war.

Lately, a war of words via media, social and otherwise, has me shaking my head and crying more. And a literal war, with bullets, seems to have seeped onto our streets.

This is me with my sister Mekeisha in 2013. We had just flown into Baltimore for a bucket-list trip to Philly, DC and New York City. The reason we refer to one another as “sister” when we are obviously not biological sisters is a story deep and personal to us. The trite and short explanation is that we are sisters-in-Christ. But the story goes far beyond that. We’ve done life together, and our families are connected now in one of those beautiful human relationships that is the heartbeat of this otherwise miserable existence in a broken world.


I do not have permission to share a photo of another close connection, via my church family. He is a detective with the Dallas police department. He and his wife will never know the God story behind the way in which they touched our lives, and how He, the Almighty God, stitched those seemingly-small events into the fabric of our son’s future and other things. It is an intricate tale, deep and personal to me.

I love these people with a love that makes it feel like someone is violently ripping my guts out when bad happens to them. And something bad just happened to both of them.

#blacklivesmatter. And our black neighbors, friends, loved ones and fellow citizens need to hear us say that right now.

#bluelivesmatter. And our law-enforcement neighbors, friends, loved ones and fellow-citizens need to hear us say that right now.

I just said it. I proudly hashtag it. It goes without saying that all lives matter, and I won’t hashtag that.

And yes, I put one in bold over the other, because I’m white.

People of the United States of America, I say openly to you now that I refuse to be pitted against any of you. It’s not about me, and what I think, or feel or fear, or don’t understand. It’s not even about what happens to me. I ignore all of that, and I lock elbows with all of you, and I stand, planted firmly on the rock of Jesus Christ.

He’s the Answer, the Key, to everything.

Change starts with me. From there, I plan to start at my back door and do all that I can to make this world better in any way I can, no matter how small.

God, help me. God help us.

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12, ESV

 

 

 

 

 

 

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