It seems only natural when there is an attraction, a shared smile, butterflies in our stomach or a sweaty hand is extended. We think that love only exists when we feel it or are in the mood or when it is an even exchange. No, God is Love and God is ever-present. Consequently, Love is and will always be.
But, Love and God are a choice and while the existence of both are not optional, we do have a say in the way we will be ruled–either by our carnal inclinations and passions or that of the Spirit of Love. We can choose our way of thinking and being in the world and with our neighbors.
Baltimore is not only on map but on our minds. We are not thinking about the city in terms of sports or seafood but because of death. The untimely, mysterious and tragic death of Mister Freddie Gray, his severed spine while in police custody, has people talking. The dialogue made some persons so angry that they took it out on property, setting innocent buildings and cars on fire. They involved bricks, bottles and other projectiles in their dispute with the use of force, hurling them at police officers not involved with Mr. Gray’s death. Disappointed, shocked and tired of hearing these kinds of stories, they were taking out their anger on other people.
And I think that more than anger was speaking. I believe that they were acting out of fear, that those who looted were afraid. Now, I cannot point to which part of their person, whether mind, heart or soul was threatened, but they were not attacking for no reason. Perhaps, it is a ghost, an apparition that they were chasing or running away from.
Maybe it is the ghost of race. We see it and hear its chains. And it frightens us to believe that our lives are not safe when race is around, at play or at work within us. So, we scream, “Black lives matter!” because we don’t want to die. The racialized life is one lived fearfully.
Unfortunately, if we do not talk about race and its impact on us, if we do not stop seeing, believing in, judging and treating persons according to the social coloring of skin, then it will happen again. We will repeat the story until we are tired of hearing it. Or, we can interrupt race and the cycles of abuse with Love. We can allow Love to interject and set the tone. We can trust Love and submit to its sovereignty.
And I know that we don’t feel like Love is right word or the appropriate response to the accusations and occasions of police brutality. We want something greater than Love but that does not exist. We must trust Love in this moment, surrendering what has been for Who will always be.
When Love rules us, we cannot fall in and out of it. Love is unconditional. When Love rules us, it is the content of our consciousness. We live, move and can only be in Love (Acts 17.26). When Love rules us, we are its citizens. We must not leave this kingdom.