"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory."
Many of us are reeling from the news that came out of Atlanta on March 16th. Some of us are scratching our heads wondering why there is still a question of whether the shootings were racially motivated. The inability to name “racism” as “racism” allows it to linger, to wander, to roam around until it finds a resting place to nestle into. That love of the indecisive is decisive enough to grant racism permission to simply be, to rest in the air, permeating the atmosphere until it sinks into our bones, into our very beings.
If you can’t call a thing what it is, if you can’t properly and fully name it, how can you ever know it? How can you ever understand it? If you can’t understand it how can you ever move beyond it? How can you ever heal? The inability to name a “thing” a “thing” is emblematic of the poison of privileged indecision. Indecision renders you incapable of ever moving forward. You are stuck looking at a multitude of options, ever contemplating, ever wondering, but never taking the step to move forward. That first step always requires looking at whatever the atrocity is that is hovering just over your shoulder. Once you’ve looked you must name.
Not wanting to prematurely identify a hate crime as racially-motivated seems tactful. However, what this does is offer racism time to percolate in the nethers. It need do nothing because you have done all the work in your contemplating. All that working to test and see and prod and question causes you to miss the opportunity. You must denounce racism from the moment you see it - it cannot be allowed to linger.
It is with this unction of the Spirit that we move into the final phase of Lenten Gestures. Allow today’s prompt, “envisioning”, to compel you to envision a world that has found a way to move beyond the deathly void of the nameless. In order to step into what can be, we must name what we envision. To name what we envision also requires naming what is.
Art: Julia Hendrickson | Look for Desired Reality | timelapse of watercolor and Salt on paper | 37 seconds | 2020