There was a picture of a building on fire in Minneapolis and however you may feel about it, I found some solace in knowing my rage could be photographed. Captured beautifully for all to see. Flames pointed towards heaven, hoping God would notice. There are no mirrors here, just smoke. And where there is smoke, there is fire. I’m on fire and the world has ran out of water, leaving me to burn with this rage.

You can’t scroll through your various social media accounts without seeing black lives matter hashtags or watch the news without hearing about protests. If your friendship network is somewhat similar to mine, you are consumed by all things related to black lives. Some of you have signed petitions, donated to different organizations, marched down city streets, shared relevant information, written letters, and had honest conversations with people who don’t look like you. And some of you are like me, no matter what you do, it just doesn’t seem like enough. Racism is sewn into the fabric of our society with a thread so fine, many will lead you to believe it’s not there. No matter how much of it we expose, there are still miles and miles left intact.

I heard someone ask their friend if they were going to protest. It was a fair question given the climate of our country but as I reflect back, I have to ask myself, “what year are we in?” I’ve been watching the series “A Different World,” and it amazes me that a show written over thirty years ago is still very relevant. We’re fighting the same fight and this week it felt like a losing battle for me. Not because I don’t think change can and will come, but I don’t know how to be a part of that change in a meaningful way. At least, that’s what I told myself but I realize that’s not true.

My dad’s family is from Mississippi and it’s not uncommon for someone to start a fire. Whether they’re burning trash, starting the grill, or keeping warm, one of my uncles or cousins always finds a way to contain the fire. With access to so much information, we can feel like everyone is doing more than we are or doing it better than we are. We think we don’t care enough because we’re not doing what they’re doing, like everyone has a fire going but us or the fire we do have going is far from contained. That’s simply not true. Do what you can where you are, however that may look. Not everyone is going to protest and not everyone is going to donate and not everyone is going to take the time to educate others, just do your part. No one gets to decide what your part is but you. Keep fighting the good fight knowing that a well contained fire will accomplish its goal.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Staff photo by Mark Vancleave of the StarTribune (May 2020)