I’ve been off Facebook and news for the past two weeks. I wanted to take a step away from everything going on. I can share another time about the experience of unplugging. In short, it was a very necessary break.
I returned this morning to hear the news about the white supremacist demonstrations in Charlottesville, the violent clash with counter-protestors, the car attack that killed one woman and left multiple people injured, and the helicopter crash that killed two state troopers that were monitoring the demonstrations.
It’s a lot to take in after unplugging from the news.
So much has been said about what happened in Charlottesville, about the rise of the alt-right and white nationalism, about the response or lack thereof from our civic, religious, and community leaders. So much more needs to be said.
For now, let me say that I’m saddened, but not surprised.
I’m saddened at the death of Heather Heyer and the injuries of so many others in the car attack. I’m not surprised, because in the senseless violence of bigotry, innocent people become targets.
I’m saddened at the racism and hatred displayed by the white supremacists in Charlottesville. I’m not surprised, because such attitudes are deeply embedded in our country, and we are very far from addressing them.
I’m saddened because this is not the people that we want to be. I’m not surprised, because this is the people that we are.
I’m saddened, but not surprised. But I’m also refusing to lose hope and drift into the numb cocoon of apathy.
I can’t do much to change the actions and beliefs of others. So I pray that I would have the strength and vision to do what I can, to stand with those who mourn, to call forth deep abiding hope, and to work for the restoration of the image of God in every person.