The Clerk’s Statement on Recent Events in Ferguson, Missouri
Having sat with parents who have lost a child due to illness, I cannot image the pain Michael Brown’s parents are experiencing. Having to endure such a loss in a public manner is unthinkable. As we all try to process recent events, let us not forget that a family has lost their son. Let us honor and remember the grace that the Brown family has shown by asking for peace in the midst of dealing with their loss.
I find hope in the communal cries, tears and indignation. I hope they burn deep, leaving a mark so deep in our souls that we will seek to unearth the laws, institutional practices, actions and inactions that bred and continue to feed the climate in Ferguson, Missouri and the mindsets that enable such events to occur not just in Ferguson, but also in our own towns and cities; our own blocks, civic groups and workplaces; our own schools and government; and in our own Quaker congregations, our meetinghouses and our families. And in the shadows of our own hearts.
I cannot pray to ease our pain and discomfort, for when I do I hear the same response each time: “Get off your knees. This is your work. Go do it.”
And so I pray:
Please help us to be faithful. Hold us up when we want to use our privilege to shield against our discomfort. Help us to hold close this pain, as it is a reminder of our humanity, our connection with one another, a truthful view of the realities we have allowed to be built. May we humble ourselves to be teachable, to speak with love as we correct those who those offend us and whom we have offended. May our desire to embrace justice be stronger than our clinging to the guilt of our privilege.
May this pain change us so we are compelled to do Your work after media attention wanes and news outlets have moved on to their next story. Let our hopelessness to undo the killing of Michael Brown, or the too many others killed before him, not prevent us from doing the to work to make him the last.
To the Brown family we pray for your peace, justice and that our actions forward will be honorable in light of your loss.
Jada S. Jackson