You could say I’m feeling bad about the state of the world.
For Yemeni children, starving to death, collateral damage in a war with Saudi Arabia. In large format photos, their bones jut through their skin, their eyes dare you to scroll by and move on with your life. Their parents are helpless to save them. Meanwhile, we count the money we make off of bombs sold to Saudi Arabia, and we shrug as they block money and supplies that could prevent famine.
For the two people murdered at a grocery store in Kentucky this week because they were black. Surviving a traffic stop seems to be a privilege you earn with submissiveness or whiteness. Meanwhile, endless think pieces ponder whether our culture shows enough respect to working class white people.
For Matthew Shepard, whose remains were interred today at the National Cathedral, twenty years after he was beaten and murdered. The Washington Post covered it in 1998, and republished the story today, where friends were careful to say–and the Post was careful to include–details that indicated that while he was gay, he wasn’t offensively gay, as if there were a version of the story where he would have deserved to be lured to a field to be beaten and left to die. Meanwhile kids still insult each other with “that’s so gay” on the playground, and our government tries to write trans people out of existence.
Brokenness so deep, my imagination is not up to the task of envisioning a way out. I give up, for a minute. Or maybe for the rest of the afternoon.
Then I’ll do the Anne Lamott thing, and remember that I can not feed Yemeni babies, but I will bring food to the pantry at the local elementary school and vote. I can not be a human shield in Kentucky but I will talk about whiteness and privilege at the dinner table. I can not bring Matthew Shepard back but I will weep for him now and send money to the Trevor Project.
I will practice radical hope despite the evidence, and trust in some invisible economy where the tears of those who mourn are precious, and mercy isn’t weakness, and weakness isn’t even weakness, really. It makes no sense but it is insanely beautiful, and so I’ll say yes to it again tonight.