An Answer to My Question - Can Reconciliation Be Beautiful

I feel so raw this morning. Actually, I'm ebbing and flowing between raw and numb. I'm raw. So I want to numb. Numb or get into a yelling match with one of the many Trump-loving, Conservative, Black Lives Matter naysayers that I can find online.  

But I can't lose composure, because if I do, especially if in the wrong place and time, the consequences could be deadly. 

In a couple of nights I'll be having a dinner with some of my closest friends, who all come from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and we will talk and laugh and enjoy our belonging to one another. We may even grieve the losses of life many Black families have endured this week. I hope that we will. 

This tension, the tension I feel between my raw-to-numb pendulum and my excitement about this upcoming family dinner is squeezing out an answer to the question I posed earlier this week. My question was, "Can reconciliation be beautiful?" or rather, "Can we be compelled by beauty to pursue racial justice and reconciliation?" Within hours of me asking the question, #terencecrutcher hit my newsfeed and my answer the question was a resounding "No." We can't be compelled by beauty. Beauty is too soft, too simple and too...well...too easy. 

But this morning, as my souls aches and as my rawness sets in, I find myself looking for and celebrating every glimmer of hope, beauty and joy that I can land on. My answer is no longer a resounding, "No!" but a deep and quiet, "Of course. We must. We must be compelled by something beautiful. How else will we endure?"

There will always be the temptation to move too quickly past pain. And for some of us, we need to sit in the rawness of all the painful truth around us for just a little while longer.

But for others of us, for whom life in Black skin and all of its accompanying pain and fear is the norm, I want to give you permission (as I give myself permission) to lean into some beautiful things today. 

Beauty isn't weak or soft.

Beauty is resilient. 

See the lilies of the field; they neither toil nor spin and not even kings can touch their glory.

See the oaks; they grow slow and they grow tall. May we be like the oaks in all their tenacity and strength. 

See the sunrise and the sunsets; know that morning always comes and that the transition from night to day is one of life's most beautiful gifts. 

See the beauty around you and know that your joy matters. It may not matter to the systems of this country and this world, but your joy, your beauty, and your flourishing matters deeply to God.