The National Guard prepped. Schools braced. News agencies salivated. Residents sheltered in place or await the ‘Go!’ tweet from the Ferguson National Response Network.
One of two sides are taken. We can side with Michael Brown. We can side with Darren Wilson. Or is there a third option to take into consideration?
We can choose to play the role given to us by the purveyors of agitation or we can choose to live according to the script given to us by the Gospel according to Matthew. Under whose script shall we take direction?
Our reaction to the Darren Wilson verdict provides those who proclaim Christ an opportunity to prove God’s strength through our weakness.
We have an opportunity for us, our prejudices and our proclivities toward hostility to decrease and for Christ to increase. We can be the helpers, the healers and the peacekeepers. We can send a note of encouragement to a child whose school is closed for reasons she does not understand. We can send a care package full of bottled water, wet wipes and toothbrushes to the local church who will then see to it that a family in need will be its recipient.
A lot of hurt people took to the streets from Birmingham to L.A. Our prayers are paramount. May our words turn away anger and our actions turn away wrath. May our physical support and stewardship be overwhelming.
May the weapons of disunity be stripped from the profiteers of divisiveness, the proclaimers of the politics of confrontation and the racketeers of righteous rage and confound them with kindness.
(To help, reach out to Catholic Charities of St. Louis or the denomination of your choice.)