By Roydon Frost.
“Weep with those who weep” Rom 12.15
There is a piece of pastoral lore which says that when you first comfort someone who has suffered great loss, love expresses itself not in words, but in presence. And so when we hear the names Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Christian Cooper and Collins Khosa, when we dare to look on the awful injustices these black men have suffered, when we witness the outrage abroad and here at home, our first duty is to be present in love, and to weep with those who weep.
Now is not the time for explanations, reasons or opinions. Now is not the time for orthodoxy or Bible verses. It is not the time for head; it is the time for heart. We show our solidarity in feeling what our brothers and sisters are feeling. Job’s counsellors sat in the silence in the ashes for a full week before they responded to Job. Perhaps one reason they were false counsellors is that that didn’t stay quiet long enough.
We need to sit in solidarity and let the bitter questions roll, unanswered. Why was Ahmaud Arbery considered a suspect? Why were private citizens acting as law enforcement officials? Why did it take seventy-four days and the leaking of a video before any arrests were made?
For the policemen apprehending George Floyd, why was face down in handcuffs not enough? Why were the warnings of bystanders and the sixteen desperate pleas of Floyd himself not enough?
Why was Amy Cooper so terrorised by someone asking her to leash her dog in a public park? Why did she phone 911, and why did she immediately speak the words “African American”?
If the death of Collins Khosa hadn’t coincided with these events, would it have made headlines?
The questions alone are enough to make you cry. And right now, they should.