Ferguson reminds me (maybe us, are we officially an us yet?) of our great desires for both peace and justice. We want this for ourselves and in our best moments, we want it for others even more so.
But we are broken people living amongst brokenness. We see this now as tragedy leads to more tragedy. We see this now as we rush to make our conclusions on the events that happened and how exactly we think others should respond.
People riot, some out of desperation and some for selfish gain. People protest, some out of a desire to bring others down, and some out of the righteous desire to pursue justice.
Simultaneously, some people will dismiss these events, blaming the media for an over inflation of tragic narrative. Some will look to the protesters and rioters and call them fools, disregarding that perhaps their actions are the best way they know how to pursue justice in a trying time. Some people will make these events about something they are not, meanwhile, others will oversimplify.
My point is: we are a deeply conflicted people, capable of great paradoxes. Both on the mass level of humanity and micro level as individuals. Our stories form us. Our parents (or lack thereof), the cities we live in, the color of our skin, the way the people we’ve intersected with in our lives have treated us, the conditions we were raised in and the conditions we currently live in, things we’ve seen and of course the things we haven’t seen. All of these form us into the people we are.
Yet, we share that aspect in common. We are people. Broken people seeking peace and justice, with the obstacles of those things being other people as well as ourselves.
A very simple and profound verse in Micah 6:8:
…what does this Lord require of you?
To act justly and love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God
The truth is for me personally, I don’t have answers or conclusions. Just a lot of sadness. And also an understanding that my heart should be in the relentless pursuit of each of those things: Justice, Mercy, and Humility.