As the Jury Deliberates

Resharing some moving thoughts from my Parish Priest:

Today I awake from a sleepless night. A night of worry. A night of anxiety. A night of a mind full of so many thoughts. I see so much good and so much bad; so much love and so much hate; a nation and a people at an important crossroad. There is so much anxiety and confusion swirling around us. I just don’t want to get out of bed today. My eyes are heavy and filled. Is it allergies or is it grief? So many around me don’t know what to say while others may be speaking from emotions without a filter. As I reflect on what lies before me, I pause to ask myself how much to share, how vulnerable can I be and will people understand. I awake today like everyday with an extra burden that many do not know or carry. I am a black man awaking to a world that does not understand my plight or journey. Let me give you a small glimpse into my rambling thoughts:

Will the decision of the jury start a riot? Where will my nephews be and are they safe? How will my mother and elders feel about this? How about my colleagues in NABCA (National Association for Black Catholic Administators) fair considering many are closer to the frontlines than I am? Will there be riots? Did anyone die last night? Will someone say something to me today that may rattle me? Did I give the right advice to the High School Principal who is concerned about his students and their reaction? If I go out in public will I get the same strange looks I normally get? Will the employees ignore me or follow me? No don’t go out today as I don’t want to deal with it. Nothing on the calendar that forces me to travel in an elevator and watch a person get unnerved because I dare to ride the same elevator. Keep the TV off as I don’t want to see any biased reports. How about all of the people of non-color who are struggling with what to say if anything at all? How will the known racists attack today? What will they say? How did they get this way?

Wow it’s only 3:42 am, try to get some rest. It’s going to be a long day. You will get through. God is with you. Ask for forgiveness for my bad thoughts. Put on a happy face and don’t make your worries other people’s worries. God is just and nobody escapes justice. Don’t own what you can’t control. Do your best. Make a positive splash. Pray for patience. Don’t let all of this bottled stuff slip out at the wrong time or in the wrong way. Hail Mary…….still can’t sleep. Might as well do morning prayer now. It’s too early to call anyone. Pray for the family you will join at the funeral who will be very sad. Pray for your parishioners and their well being. Put on the armor of Christ and this too will pass. Am I projecting the love that Christ asks me to? Don’t forget who you are. Dry your eyes, you have been through worse and you will get through this day just as you have many others. Fear only paralyzes. Keep moving. Get out of your head. Meditation and prayer. Go to work and stay busy. It will calm you down. Be near me Guardian Angel. I will get through this. Time to get out of bed and face this day. Look for the bright, joyous spots. Do your job- serve God’s people. You know who you are. Let them see the best of you.

Friends I jotted this down not for sympathy, judgment or a response, but only to give you an insight of a quick glance into my day. All I ask of everyone is that we be civil, respectful and loving to each other. You can disagree with someone without judgment as you have never walked in their shoes and do not know how they came to this moment. I pray that our nation faces this crossroad with the dignity and all the best that we can. I pray that we learn from this and not allow history to repeat itself. We can all do more and do better. I love you all.

Fr. Reggie