Another shooting at a middle school, bringing the total to one a week since January
And I think, “At least the summer will stop them for a few weeks.”
“Lost” immigrant children kept in detention camps that look like dog kennels while separated from family
And I think, “At least they have a safe place to sleep.”
Black men incarcerated at an alarming rate for non-offenses because of the color of their skin
And I think, “There’s always more to a story than what you read.”
Working families live in homes that have so much damage that I wouldn’t want to even go near
And I think, “Surely, they are spending their money on the wrong things.”
And then I was appalled at my reactions.
When did shootings in schools become about a short reprieve from the violence
Rather than about how unacceptable violence is in a place where our students should feel safe?
When did inhumane treatment of children as they yearn to play and learn in relative safety
Become an issue relegated to the back page of the news?
When did someone else’s fear of police for simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time
Stop moving me toward social justice for my fellow humans?
When did safe living conditions for all human beings
Become a privilege instead of a basic right?
When did I become so unfeeling and cold
While rationalizing what is happening to my brothers and sisters?
Lord, have mercy on our shrinking world,
Where we see up close and personal the cruelty of nations,
Including our own.
Christ, have mercy on our inability
To take in the hurts and feel the pain of our neighbors
For fear of drowning in their sorrows.
Lord, have mercy on our apathy
That causes us to respond with inaction
Because the brokenness has become so commonplace.
Forgive us, we pray, for our selfish response
To a world torn apart by fear and greed
Forgive us, we pray, for turning a blind eye
To the oppression of our leaders here and abroad
Forgive us, we pray, for being so comfortable with what we have
That we ignore the cries of the world around us.
Move us to see through your eyes our world.
Let us enter into equitable relationship with all people.
Teach us how to act with peace and justice rather than complacency.
Melt our frozen hearts to love you and our neighbors more than our own comfort.
Help us see
as your beloved children.
-Rev. Joanna Dietz