I was angry yesterday.  I woke up to the news of the 5 Dallas police officers killed and the 6 others wounded, and I was stunned. Anger ruled me for a good hour as I wept in my hotel bed and through my shower.

I had to shield my children’s eyes from the newscast when they began to show the chaos from the night before. JP screamed, “DA DA!!!!” when he saw the flashing blue lights. No one was speaking during continental breakfast, and I noticed the black woman leaning over her eggs and bagel as she seemed terrified to make eye contact with anyone in the room. I had the urge to go hug her, but I didn’t want to draw attention to someone who really looked like she would rather disappear.

Luckily, I had a seven hour drive ahead of me, and I was able to tune out the news and think.

I thought about how easily this could be my husband or his best friends. No amount of training or confidence could have saved those officers. It was an ambush, plain and simple.

I thought about how easily my children could be without a father, and how easily our life would change at the hands of just one man holding one gun loaded with one bullet.

My heart ached. It was too much.

I knew exactly what the answer would be when I asked my husband to call into work last night. He laughed a gentle laugh, partly knowing I’m a bit crazy, and partly knowing my fears were valid. He cupped my crying cheeks in his hands and looked me straight in the eyes to assure me he would be home at the end of his shift. I hugged him as tightly as I could through the Kevlar and utility belts, reminding myself that his tools and body armor really can only do so much. He made me promise to leave the tv tuned to Real Housewives and away from CNN.

And then he walked out the door, with Chico – his K9 partner – following ever so faithfully behind. They loaded up. And they were gone.

I knew I could do nothing. I was helpless. I surely would jump in front of that one bullet from that one gun for this man, and I know how willingly he would do so for strangers. If someone was going to take his life last night, or any other night, it would be taken while he was fully committed to serving and protecting and sacrificing to this calling that he answered five years ago.

Knowing that I could do nothing, I began to pray. I prayed all night.

I prayed for you.

Maybe you don’t pray. Maybe you don’t believe that it works. Maybe you do pray, but you’re finding it hard to continue.

But I prayed for you.

I prayed for you, officers who suited up last night. You knew the heightened danger facing you, and you strapped on your vest anyway. I prayed for your clarity, your confidence, and your safety. I prayed that your work would reflect passion and community and respect for all citizens as you cruised the streets, spoke to people, and dared to be the thin blue line yet again.

I see you, and your life matters.

I prayed for you, officer families. I prayed for your peace and comfort as you went about your home lives, trying to stay busy. I prayed for rest that was desperately needed. I prayed that we all would hear Velcro this morning.

I see you, and your officer’s life matters.

I prayed for you, mothers of black children. I saw you all comment on various social media sites yesterday that you were scared for your sons. I’m scared, too. I prayed for their safety, and for your peace in sending them out of your door. I prayed that officers would be sensitive to the real fears that you hold, and that we could figure out something – as a community of human beings – to make this all better.

I see you, and your son’s life matters.

I prayed for you, the black community. I don’t get it. I won’t ever experience it. But I prayed that my heart would be softened to your experiences, and that we would begin to hear each other. I don’t want to pretend like these issues don’t exist, and I prayed that we could start dialogue to working towards a common goal – equality, safety, and justice for all. I prayed that your hearts would be softened to those of us who DO want to help and make a difference. I prayed that you would be heard loud and clear, without violence.

I see you, and yes, your black life matters.

I prayed for you, the white community. I prayed that we will just stop talking and convincing ourselves that problems don’t exist just because we can’t equally empathize. I prayed we would open our hearts to the differences around us, and pop our white bubble. I prayed that we could make a difference holding the hands of the black community. I prayed that we would stop being so hateful in our racism and prejudices, and recognize that we are all – ALL – people created in the image of our Almighty God

I see you, and your life matters, too.

Help us, sweet Jesus. Fill our hearts with your love that never sees black or white, citizen or criminal, Jew or Samaritan. Cause us all to pause. Cause us all to listen, even when the honesty hurts. Cause us to hear, even when we don’t really want to. Perhaps you are provoking us to love through common tragedy. Please let it be, Lord. Let the deaths of these black men and these officers not be in vain. Give us wisdom to bring a solution to the problem that will create peace between us, and pleasure to You.

Find us in our sorrows, Lord, and comfort us like only You can when we call Your Name. Help us to just be kind to one another when we feel like we can do nothing else.

Help us, Lord.

Help.

If you share my sentiments, please feel free to share. Sometimes words are the strongest power we have

 

 

Image copyright The Atlantic.