I do want to know more, I think...but more about that later.
Was it just a month ago that I was reading article after article about the horrors of Ebola? I'll admit it. Fear bit at me. I stocked up a bit. I bought extra bleach and bottles of water. I filled up a corner of our garage pantry with more canned goods. With three little kids nipping at my heels, it doesn't take much for my protective instincts to kick into overdrive. But mostly, that bit of time I trembled inside at the journalists' reports of victims being stripped from their loved ones, my heart hurt so much for them. I wasn't really worried much about my own family, but I was in a lot of pain for families far, far away stricken with a biting sadness and for the health practitioners facing bravely the much needed care for others.
And now with Ferguson, I sit here and scroll through Twitter and make something of the fire and fury in my head, grappling at a future narrative for our country. I see protesters of all colors, ages, and backgrounds march through our cities shouting for something, something else. I want something else too, but I also feel that it is my time to listen right now. I have vested interest. We all do. And everyone has the right to chip in. But this isn't about me. It's about a lot of people in pain for things that as a white woman I don't endure, that I don't intimately know or understand. I see a lot of noise online about true discrimination vs. false discrimination, these facts supporting indictment and those facts supporting the decision reached by the jurors, but all I can care about right now is all the pain.
The pain of those mourning or hopeless or angry.
And being told "no, no, you don't get to feel that way".
The pain of those who feel our system, our infrastructure is set up against them and have seen it played out in discrimination against themselves and loved ones.
The pain of those law enforcement officers and persons of minority who wake up every day to do good things, hard things, right things and now real, true, felt set-backs for everyone. Or at least it feels.
The pain of the jurors who know the gravity of their decision and now have to watch the violent twists and turns unravel before them.
The pain of those who have watched their buildings and cars burn, their carefully built-up possessions become a spark and a spectacle in something outside of their own story.
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God made me to feel all the feels. It's not easy being an INFP. I see a painting and I weep. I read poetry and can't focus for the rest of the day. I feel things so deeply that I sometimes worry that all my feels will paralyze me. I care so much it's sometimes no good for anybody.
For those of you have thoughtful, insightful, true and charitable conversation about Ferguson (about all the things), I'm not speaking to you. You rock. I need people like you to swing me around to facts and see hard lines and numbers.
But tonight I speak to those of you like me. If you too find yourself paralyzed by real bad news, searching and searching the screen for a place for your heart to land, turn it off. I might, might, be able to do something constructive about race relations but today is not that day.
I'm going to get up from this chair, finish the dishes and clean out my fridge and then love on my little ones by reading to them and tucking them into bed. After that I'm going to do other things with my hands. Move stuff back in the garage. Wipe down my cabinets. Freelance work. Things that will look like I don't care because I do have to affix my focus 95% to what's right here because this is where I am and these people are who I'm responsible for and that mundane and beautiful vocation I've been called to as a wife and mother moves mountains slowly too.
I will find constructive ways to do good things here in my home that is so far-from the news its happenings are but a fleck of dust floating in the air. I will do real things, things where my intentions become actions, where my heart can feel big because it can do big too.
Tomorrow, I will watch just enough news to be in the know, I will watch just enough news to know what and who to pray for, and I will watch just enough news to help me continue to think about good things I am capable of doing to help others. But that will be enough and that will be all.