Guys, last week sucked. Royally. Three more men have died at the hands of police officers, and 11 officers were shot at the hand of someone seeking to cause even more strife against two groups of people already in the throes of frustration. Let me say this before I continue. I support police officers. I know that their job is stressful and that they run the risk of losing their lives every day. In the same vein, I support my people. I support their right to a fair trial and if they are found guilty, I support the justice system handing down a FAIR judgment, instead of them dying at the hands of overzealous cops who have hyped themselves up against “thugs.”
So, I got off of a plane yesterday and went straight to my garden. Because that’s my place of comfort. It allows Mr. Houseful and I to spend time together doing something for our community, while still being able to silently wonder about the state of our country, as one does when they are digging in dirt. We talk a lot about our hopes for our oldest son, and what our youngest three are going to have to deal with.
Today, I did something I knew better than to do. I engaged in a Facebook discussion about the Black Lives Matter movement, and how it isn’t dripping in violence, and how the supporters don’t ever want to see bloodshed or violence. With each comment, I calmly explained my side of things, several things happened. The focus was taken off of the actual subject at hand, and the offended parties made everything about themselves. Like to the point that they stated that they were bawling because of my inability to agree with them on their points of view. I was even informed that white people have it so much harder than everyone else in this country, because they have to try much harder to be the best. *PAUSE*
Then we had the quintessential addition of the black spokespeople who disagree with Black Lives Matter. Because we all know that TWO black people who don’t support the movement are the end all of these discussions. However, in the same vein, I can’t use one perverted priest to indict the entire Catholic cloth, and I wouldn’t dare.
I say that to say this. I still have hope for this world. Even when it continues to attempt to slap it out of me. I believe that one of these days, folks will honestly follow in the steps of Jesus Christ, and be kind to all humans. I live for a day where we aren’t yelling at each other, and creating tons of noise. Instead, I hope and pray that we can listen, and learn. If one person tells me that the violence against a group that they are a part of is hurting them, then I should understand. The fact remains that officers aren’t a targeted group. People of color are. I feel that it’s stupid that I have to state that I support law enforcement, and that I think what happened in Dallas is a travesty, but here I am. It’s almost as if I can’t talk about the state of the black race and still say, officers shouldn’t be killed for being officers. They shouldn’t be killed even when they are doing wrong, because we have a justice system in this country, and we need to use it.
Which brings me back to gardening. Our little community garden has planted seeds in my spirit, and with each new plant that blossoms, and provides fruit, I’m given more patience. Planting and weeding and harvesting is allowing me to commune with God in a way that I wasn’t able to just being in my house. I was especially excited to see this mini eggplant popping up. Not many people love miniature eggplant. With its deep dark purple skin, tiny stature, and it’s thorny protection. It won’t get much larger than three inches, and yet it’s going to pack a mighty punch to whomever takes the time to get past the thorny exterior. At least I hope so. I hope that I make as much of an impact in life’s garden. While others may not like me so much, there’s always going to be someone who I can get through to. Who I can fortify with my knowledge, and I aim to do just that.
This eggplant and I may not get many supporters, but as long as we can win one person over, they’ll tell the next person about their awesome experience with the fruit of our respective gardens, and encourage others to plant or indulge.