Lament — Philando Castile

Lament isn’t always theologically correct. Lament isn’t always nice and neat.

Lament isn’t always soft… or done in time to get to lunch.

Lament is brutal because the soul has been assaulted. It is a crying out in pain because in that moment… in that time… there is nothing else to do.

Lament is personal. Lament is communal.

America doesn’t do lament. But we need to.

Lament is deep in my soul because “the system” failed the family of Philando Castile this week. Lament is deep because among the friends I have there is a sense of, “Here we go again.” And “reason” doesn’t help. “Statistics” don’t help.

The soul has been assaulted.

Lament needs a space in our community. The hurt needs to fly out of the soul and those nearby need to stand aside and let it happen. Instead… we judge. We judge because we think that’s not what WE would do… or a “civilization” would do.

Black or white, lament needs to fly out of the soul and allow the pain to have a way to exit. And it won’t make sense a lot of the time.

I was with another family this week who suffered the loss of a teenage girl. There were a lot of “F” bombs. A lot of bad theology. And it was loud.

And I wept with them. I sat with them and let the soul cry out.

There are feelings we have in the moment that ultimately may or may not be true… but in that moment have a sense of truth. The soul has been assaulted.

My soul has been assaulted in a tragic loss this week. My soul has been assaulted in a tragic court decision.

And in this moment, I am at a loss to say, “Trust the system.” In this moment… I do not “trust the system.” The system keeps failing minority communities. And, quite honestly, that system may end up failing the very law enforcement community it was designed to try and help.

In this moment I am not going to say, “Now… protest nice, y’all.” Not in this case. Philando Castile was compliant that night… and he is dead. A bad cop (and that doesn’t reflect on the meaning that he can also be a “good person”) was ill-prepared for the job and he is home. And free.

The soul has been assaulted. And lament needs to flow.

For now… let it. There isn’t a “right way” for this to happen.


Voting… or not

If you haven’t noticed, which means you don’t have a TV or haven’t turned it on in the last three or four… months… election season is upon us.

There are some who make the case for NOT voting. (Read all ten parts if you like.)

Here is the deal (which you already know if you’ve followed me long enough or know me at all):

If you choose not to vote, come to my church and you will receive communion.

If you choose to vote, you will receive communion.

If you vote for Obama, you get communion.

If you vote for Romney, you get communion.

If you vote for the Marriage Amendment (in MN), you get communion.

If you vote against the Marriage Amendment, you get communion.

Voter ID, same thing.

Congressional Rep or Senator, same thing.

You get communion.

How do you get to communion? Through the voting both, or by avoiding the voting both? Hardly. It is through the work of Jesus Christ.

If THAT work of Christ has touched you, you are welcome at the table.

See you in church. It’s where we can handle each other the best, anyway.