I don’t know what to say anymore. I have no more words. No matter what I say, I will trigger something that opens wounds, even if my goal is to heal and treat them.
I am so tired. I have been barraged with messages that I don’t understand, that I can’t support those who protest, that I must protest, that if I am not doing something people must leave my church because I am a false pastor, that nothing is wrong and everything will be okay, that everything will be wonderful once more, that the protestors are immature and stupid, that because I don’t condemn certain voters, I am supporting bigotry and hatred.
I don’t know what I am supposed to do. I know the greatest commandment, I know that I want so very badly to love everyone as myself, I know that I feel the pain the marginalized and abandoned, and also the ignored and despised, and I want to create dialogue and healing.
But I don’t know how. If I see something that is unnecessarily hurtful and hateful, I cannot call it out because “I don’t understand” or “I am siding with oppression.” If I see something that ignores – or revels in – the pain of the marginalized, I cannot call it out because “they are just immature” or “they don’t understand this is how it works.”
I just want to be able to see people actually talk to one another, love one another, not talk at the other or condemn the other or hate the other or threaten the other. I want people to be able to say, “I vote differently than you because…” and be heard, or “I understand why you are scared, but I was scared, too, for a different reason.” I want there to be actual conversation, not screaming and vitriol thrown at each other.
I want the marginalized and the abandoned, and also the ignored and condemned, to not be. I want Muslims and factory workers and gays and farmers and urban peoples and rural people and poor people of all shapes and colors and creeds to be remembered and cared for and treated like humans and like people.
I want this, and I don’t know how to use my voice to do it. I’ve been told – quite violently – that if I am not speaking out, then I am the problem, but I don’t know how to speak out. I don’t know how to admonish people who are in pain because they are creating more pain. I don’t know how to tell someone that just because someone else has done something – and worse – does not release you from responsibility when you are doing the same.
I want to be a pastor and a friend right now, and I don’t know how. I know that just allowing myself to be yelled at and sitting idly by while people I love are tearing apart relationships and driving wedges between themselves and others is not how I do that.
So how do I speak? If the answer is so clear how I can have words that can fix this, then please tell me. Because I will speak, I will share Christ’s love and do my best to heal, and I will not sit idly and wait for it to get better.
But I have no words, and any words I speak will just create more pain.
So please, help me speak.