Dear Pastors,

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Dear Pastors,

I want to sing, “It is well with my soul;” I want to sing, “We will not be moved;” I want to be able to sing, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper, it won’t work.” But all I can hear is, “He better be alive because — he better be alive.” All I can hear is, “I can’t breathe.” All I can hear are the pops of bullets from video after video after video of death.

I want to find the melody of the songs that bring comfort, the songs of grandmothers and aunties. I want to find the intoxicating rhythm of the Gospel, but today all I can find are the words and sounds of sorrow and pain.

Today there is no joy in journey, today we mourn with those who mourn—some of whom have been mourning for far too long.

The songs we sing are not enough to bring change, so what are you going to do this Sunday? Pastors, how are you going to speak of justice? How are you going to talk about love? How are we going to prepare spaces for the grieving, hurting, and heartbroken this Sunday? Are you even going to mention their names from your pulpit?

Keith Lamont Scott, Ty’re King, Terence Crutcher, Korryn Gaines, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Charles Kinsey, Donte Hamilton, John Crawford, Sam Dubose, Corey Jones, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Mike Brown, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Ezell Ford, Akai Gurley, Christian Taylor, Tanisha Anderson, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Rumain Brisbon, Jerame Reid, Tony Robinson, Philip White, Eric Harris, Laquan McDonald, Yvette Smith, Rekia Boyd, Manuel Loggins, Kendra James, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo ….

When you contextualize justice, is it only for your community? Or will it be the type of justice that takes “me” out of the equation, and focuses solely on Christ and others. Are you brave enough to be like Christ and walk with the systemically oppressed? Are you brave enough to broach the subject, knowing there are some in your pews who do not think #BlackLivesMatter. They may not say it, but their FaceBook wall represents it—and does it make you sick? Are you brave enough to not sing, but cry out on behalf of justice, on behalf of innocent lives taken, on behalf of ending racism?

I do not know what you will do this Sunday, but I beg you to do something. Take a knee, shed some tears, repent and listen to those who this affects, so one day we can dance with those who dance and sing with those who sing.

 

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