I don’t even know where to being.
I can’t pretend to fully understand your loss and pain. Being a forty-two year old white male in America, I haven’t experienced the harsh realities of society in the ways you have endured. That, in itself, would be a heavy burden to bear. The loss of a son makes it even more overwhelming.
I am a father of two girls, and can’t imagine losing one of them to such a tragedy. We, as parents, are saddled with great responsibility the moment they enter this world. We protect. We nurture. We discipline. We love. We envision grand dreams for our children, unsure if they will ever obtain them. We never anticipate outliving them. It’s an old cliche, but it’s so very true. A parent should never have to bury their own child.
As I watched the events unfold Monday night, my heart broke. I am a Christian. The Bible says in Romans 12:15 that we are to rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. I stared at all those hurt, angry, and distraught faces in Ferguson, and I cried. I prayed for healing and reconciliation. I prayed for everyone directly involved with the case. I prayed for the safety of every citizen on those streets.
And I prayed for you.
Your son was a human being. We were all created in the image of God. Each one of us has value and purpose, regardless of how the world looks at us. I honestly don’t fully know what God’s intentions were for creating different races. I believe it’s something to celebrate, not discriminate against. What a boring world this would be if we were all entirely the same. I have many friends from multiple cultures, and it’s amazing to learn about all the differences.
As difficult as it is to accept, I know racism is alive and well today. It’s extremely sad, but impossible to ignore. People are labeled with stereotypes by the way they act, talk, and live. Nothing will ever change until we can view each and every individual through the same lens as our Heavenly Father. We have to see beyond the visible, and recognize each person’s potential and destiny.
God loves you. He loved Michael. Before your son was even conceived, God already had the template set aside. With tenderness and grace, He formed him inside the womb. He gave him life. It doesn’t matter how Michael chose to live on this Earth. That never changed the intimate, unconditional love he received from his Creator. Nothing could ever change that.
After reading the comments and posts that have saturated social media this week, my heart is heavy. I can’t imagine the emotions and feelings you are experiencing in the midst of this chaos. It seems as if everyone wants to voice their opinions and spew hate, rather than take a moment to focus on those who are hurting the most. I know you feel the weight of injustice pressing down on your like an unbearable burden. For that, I am truly sorry.
I’m not taking sides. My heart hurts for all parties involved in this situation. No one walks away from something like this without experiencing loss. The bottom line is that you lost a son, and nothing that is done, written, or said will ever bring him back. The grief you will continue to endure is unspeakable.
I pray for God’s comfort to embrace you as the days pass. The only thing that will make a difference in this world is love. It has to start with the person standing right in front of us.