It feels like parts of me are scattered all around. My thoughts, my emotions...even my family. I finally have complete quiet in my home office to work, and instead I can't shake this nagging knot in my stomach that feels like a combination of excitement and anguish, playing tricks on my emotions and distracting me from my list of to-dos.
I have to admit, I've been feeling pretty disheartened about the recent reactions to the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. There have been a lot of judicial justifications being thrown around to diminish serious discussion of who our laws are aimed to protect, the existence of racial issues still in this country today, and the extent to which we actually value life (or the criteria around which lives we appear to value).
I have many more questions than I have answers--why did George Zimmerman pursue Trayvon Martin that night and take matters into his own hands? Would he have been as emboldened without his concealed weapon? What must Trayvon have felt to have a man following him? How might the situation have turned out differently if George had assumed the best of Trayvon and offered him a ride...or help?
And, there are so many other facets of this left to analyze: the role of the media, the composition of the jury, the change in story and evidence, gun control and the stand your ground law (which Trayvon clearly could not invoke)...and to what extent race played a role in the altercation that led to a tragic and unnecessary loss of life.
In the end, what disturbs me the most is the seeming lack of compassion for the loss of life, in defense of legal technicalities that justify violence. What has happened to our country---to our Christian beliefs of love thy neighbor? I will never be convinced that Jesus would stand on the side of murder, even if the courts do.
It is disturbing which issues we raises our bibles and voices against, and which we remain silent.
To debate that racial tensions exist today is to discredit the experiences of so many. Simply "putting yourself in someone else's shoes" while assigning your own life experiences, privilege and opportunity, is ineffective in understanding generational curses that impact a person's perspective of their available choices. It does nothing to move forward and erase perceived and real systematic injustice.
The words we use and how we respond to this type of tragedy is so very telling about the nature of our hearts and the law which we claim to follow. Do we believe in human law or higher law? Do we value life, or legality? Do we allow discussion for all voices to be heard? Do we try to open our minds to what it is really like to walk in different shoes?
Let's disagree, but let's do so from a place of love and tolerance, instead of expecting the worst in each other. At the end of the day, that is what I believe led to this tragedy in the first place.