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Fireworks, Freedom, and Guns.

My country tis of thee, sweet land of savagery. To thee I write. Land where my father died of an overdose. Land where my mother cried beaten and bloody and alone for marrying a “nigger”. From every mountainside your hypocrisy rings.

This is the weekend where we celebrate independence. When we let freedom ring. On 63rd and race in West Philly where I grew up, those won’t be fireworks you hear. Those will be gunshots. In Chicago those won’t be “bombs bursting in air”, those will be lives cut down too soon. This will more likely happen at the hands of folks stuck in same mire and mess. The victim will be hard to identify if you have a discerning eye. Who is the victim when one POC slays another? The one who has been taken from his family in the heat of the night?  Is it the shooter who will also be thrown into the new plantation for his crime? The community living in a constant state of anxiety and have a form of mass PTSD, maybe they are the real victims?

I stand in a pool of blood and I call it home. I stand in the mass grave of slavery and watch my “betters” still live fat on the hog. I look at the #Pulsemassacre and I am not shocked. When Sandy Hook happened and those with privilege decided that the worship of guns was more important than their own children I knew. They are feeding their children to Moloch, I knew it was open season on the marginalized.

I have been to your prisons. I have paid my debts. I have stepped into the brokenness of my family and seen healing. I buried my parents after years of fast living. I pay your taxes. I watch your wars. I even earned the right back to vote.

Jesus wears a hajib and is being drug through the streets.

Jesus was dancing in Orlando a few weeks ago and was gunned down.

Jesus was raped and the attacker was let go.

Jesus was told to get out of our country after he worked a 16 hour shift.

Jesus was never part of this country and its foul plans.

We will all participate in the civic religion this weekend.  None of us are exempt. We will go to barbecues made possible by sacrificing our young men and woman in foreign lands. We will bow before the altar of red white and blue. It will be made out of the bones of Iraqi children. Built on land we stole from the original peoples of this continent. We stole a continent.

The Gospel is liberation and I still sit in chains. Church is the hope on earth, in a hopeless world. Our leaders have failed us and our prayers are not meant to solve the problems we face, but to fuel us as we become the scarred hands and feet of our Lord. We will suffer for this. We need to draw the line in the sand here. Today. This very moment. The Church will either lead the way or be complicit again.

We will either stand with Christ, with the apostles and the prophets and risk our everything. Or we wont.  Because our story keeps getting bloodier.

Our leaders keep getting scarier. Our scars keep getting thicker.

The Church is being called out by the times we live in. We will either stand tall, even if with trepidation tinged with fear. Or sit and watch this scene unfold as it always have. Those with power will continue  stealing the narrative, and Jesus will stand weeping again.

We could dare to be the generation that wipes away the tears of Christ. We will suffer for this.

But we already are. Happy 4th of July.



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