It is an almost-summer morning in June. The robins are singing, the bluejays are winging, my phone is dinging, each sending messages that I need to hear. The wisteria leaves are dancing in the breeze, topped by the bright morning sun. The day holds a promise that the world awaits me, invites me to savor it and step into its many delights.
In the midst of this, I know that George Floyd would have liked the opportunity to greet a day like this. Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arberry would have as well. They deserved a chance to wake up to another day and discover what it might bring to them and discover what they might bring to it.
Friends, put aside all the excuses, the politics, the analysis, the justifications. We may all disagree on God’s name, but I think we pretty much can agree that life is sacred. We don’t know—none of us do—what death brings, but its apparent finality means that we may or may not get a chance to see if we can be better, to see if we can love a bit deeper or savor life a bit more fully. Of course, we squander that opportunity day after day. But simply waking up to the next day means the possibility awaits us. And that possibility is cut short when 400 years of an ugly story that certain people keep telling over and over again, with little or no consequence, keeps playing out in the daily news.
You reading these words, step outside and breathe in the air. Listen for a bird. Enjoy a spot of sunshine or feel the cool breeze on your skin or open to a few moments of biting cold or drizzling rain. There. You have been gifted a moment to savor. Consider what’s left for you to do in the shorter and shorter number of days left to you, how you might yet become the beautiful being you were born to be.
Then feel the weight of all of that taken away, senselessly, cruelly, unnecessarily, from George, Breonna and Ahmaud. Whatever you savor today, do so on their behalf. And then make your vow of how you can help stop this. Speak out where you have been silent, step out from where you have been hiding, look where you have refused to look, educate yourself where you have been ignorant. Life is short and death will come knocking at your door, but it should not be in the form of a paid police officer noticing your skin color.
Never. Ever. Not before, not now, not again.