(reflecting on the loss of our neighbor's son to street violence)
Just a few short steps down my street tonight
A mom is thinking about
The first steps and the first words and the birthdays
And the struggles and the successes, the wins and the losses,
The would haves and the should haves,
And the dids.
Because it’s all wrapped up, this beautiful life – a son, her son,
Her boy who she will lay to rest once for real and then
Over and over
As each cold day brings back that November day
When life came to a screeching halt
And a mother lost her child to these shots.
These shots that we all keep talking about –
But the tragedy is not in the shots
But in a poverty of the soul that
Is killing us, killing us.
There is beauty all around and there is pain all around
And we live in tension, always in the tension.
There is no guilt in taking in the beauty because
We see it through a lens of awareness
Of the pain all around us, and it is heavy.
But the beauty is even more beautiful when we
Know the flipside and remember that
God gave us only two hands and that
They are far too small for carrying the
Weight of the world.
It would be so easy if Jesus said
They will know you are Christians
By your bracelets and plates and fish decals
But He gave us something infinitely harder and
More beautiful and overwhelming and
He said that they will know us by our love –
It is reckless and it is raging and
It’s not easy and it’s not pretty and
It. Is. Hard.
But they will know we are Christians
By our love
And when we get ahold of it and
We get a glimpse of it and
Even begin to understand the freedom
And the goodness and the space that God has for us
It. Changes. Everything.