Thursday, April 30, 2015

I Don't Have Answers for Any of This

I'm having some angst over here this morning. I'd like to blog about pretty horses, but Baltimore is on fire. I don't know how to talk about that. Yep, rioting is stupid, helps nothing, distracts everyone from the issues at hand. Yep, the entrenched poverty of that community is hard to comprehend, harder still to fix. I wish I had answers. I don't.

Sometimes I get aggrieved and judgmental. I'm sorry about that. Yesterday someone posted a quip on Facebook that rubbed me the wrong way--it didn't help that we were having a difficult time at Faith in Action, so I was already feeling uptight--and I told them I thought they didn't understand the complexities of the situation, at least not as well as I did. They explained that they did, with details. I forget sometimes, even though I know it's important, even though I say it over and over myself, that we don't know people until we've listen to their stories. The person I was rude to on Facebook was gracious enough to tell me her story anyhow, and trust that I would listen. I did.

A man named Freddie Grey, who had a long history of drug convictions, died of a nearly-severed spinal cord. Spinal cords don't sever easily.

He was a drug dealer. A nobody.

Except that none of us are nobodies. Jesus seems to make this pretty clear.

I think of the son of the man who mows for me, the son whose death we're grieving. He never achieved much by the world's standards. He lived mostly off monthly disability checks. Had lots of tattoos. A failed marriage. Yet his boys loved him, his sister loved him, his parents loved him every day of their lives.

This man who died quite often came by my farm. Sometimes he did a little work for me. Sometimes he just stopped to speak to his father. Once he rang my doorbell. "Miss Kim," he said, with a sly smile, "is Sarah supposed to be loose in the barn aisle?" Sarah is my big mischievous mare. I sighed, and went to grab my shoes. "No worry," he said, "I put her back."

I listen now to his father, listen every day though it's hard to do so. "Such a good boy," he says. "He was always a good boy." And, once, "I don't have a boy anymore, Miss Kim. I don't know what to do without my boy."

None of this makes any sense. I'm hoping it will start to, if I shut up and listen.