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not guilty?

“Not guilty”

the verdict flashes, and the masses don’t take long for their chance to pounce

To own just an ounce of the minutes that come after, to be a voice in the chatter

To say the one thing that remains unsaid, but the fact remains –

Someone is dead.

Someone died at the hands of another, a mother lost her son,

a gun that ripped through more than flesh and marrow,

but through the narrow veins of racism still pulsing through a nation

still committed to pretending it’s United. It’s invited all sorts of analytics, and politics, and tricks

of logic boosted by words spoken with great emotion.

All the while it’s simply a stream leading to an ocean.

There’s a larger problem than this case, or that person, or that issue

Something worth wetting more than single tissues,

Worth mourning floods and wails of confession,

and worth both individual and communal confessions

of we.

We’re comforted by pronouns that point the finger, the fact that guilty feelings never linger as long as we keep tuned in to the latest thing, the latest stream of others doing worse than what we’ve done.

But we’ve become numb, and so dumb – unable to speak for our lack of practice, but the fact is

We have a choice, and we’ve chosen against those without voice.

We strive for dreams labeled by nationality, but in reality an empty promise,

and throwing Doubting Thomas off the boat…see if he’ll float.

Authors wrote about days like these, and called them “last”.

But don’t move too fast, and twist my words into a chance to merchandise,

Rather, view this moment with new eyes…

Let the blasts of accusations fade, even the ones most recently made as the feed ticks slowly by

Your need to reply, or question why goes slowly the way of realizing the ocean beyond the stream.
See what I mean?

In the silence that follows, find solace in the hollows of comments never made

Take shade from the torrents of words and emotions, pray over that ocean.

Because even though the words spoken were “not guilty”, there is not end to what has happened

Neither was this the beginning, as our grip on morality is thinning

We realize it was not he, but we, who were on trial.

And We. Are. Guilty.

But there. Is. Grace.


Seek His Face.

(To hear this spoken by a young man who used to be a student in my youth ministry, click here!!!!)