Kyrie Eleison, Trayvon Martin
In thinking about Trayvon Martin’s case, I’ve been reflecting on the many facebook posts expressing diverse sentiments including anger, relief, and sadness over the verdict.
Let’s be transparent here. There are instances when a young black teenager in a hoodie will startle, if not terrify, me. In fact, I am often scared to walk down the street of my neighborhood, where (in the past month alone) there have been three shootings in a three block radius.
But I have also learned one very important thing. My best defense is not a gun, but a nod of the head, a wave, or a simple, “How you doing?” This, after all, is the basis and origin of the handshake: the demonstration that we are willing to become vulnerable first, without weapons, in the hopes of peace or even friendship. And if harm should come to us, it is because the God of Angel Armies said it should be so.
Is this being naïve? Perhaps. But the alternative, clearly, does not grace us with better options. Because we have come to know a number of the teenagers (kids, really) on our block now, and we would grieve if any of them came to harm or death, and we would feel outrage if it had been a case of mistaken identity or intent.
So we grieve for the Martin family. Kyrie eleison.