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May 8, 2020

“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Amos 5:24

I went for a run yesterday. Nothing special, my usual 3.23-mile loop around my quadrant of Oak Park. I don’t get too far from home these days, but it’s good to stay active. It was a beautiful day, too. Sunny. Warm, but not too warm. I went for a run, and then I came home, stretched out, and sat down to dinner and a beer.

I went for a run yesterday.

And nobody tried to shoot me.

I went for a run yesterday, not so different from the run Ahmaud Arbery went for on February 23. He did not come home, stretch out, or sit down to dinner and a beer. And he never will again.


Mr. Arbery was Black. Two white men thought he looked like a criminal. So they shot him. Lynched him. In the middle of a run. In the middle of the day. Because he was Black.

Is this the world we’re still living in? Yes. We talk about, pray about, the hard work of dismantling systemic racism. As well we should. But how do we make progress when two white men can lynch a Black man just because they want to?

Fortunately, finally, arrests were made yesterday. Hopefully justice will be served.

And for us? Well, I’ll start by acknowledging that when I go for a run tomorrow, I have enough privilege that I probably won’t get shot. But I have to use that privilege, too. To stand with and for those who still suffer under the oppressive yoke of racism and hate.

Amos proclaimed a vision of the coming of the Kingdom of God, a mighty flowing river of justice and righteousness. We have been drowned in those waters of grace and gifted with new life. We have been yoked to the cause of justice and righteousness. Being in a pandemic does not undo this call. As it turns out, we’re needed more than ever.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of justice, God of peace, flood this land with righteousness. Help us to stand with those who continue to suffer injustice, to push back with love against hate. Give us courage to work for a world that is better for all people. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: Me, after completing the 2011 Myrtle Beach Half Marathon, another example of a time I went running without getting shot.

From → COVID-19

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