A Nigger. A Gas Station. A Burning Building. #Ferguson #FergusonAndYou

I wrote the following a year ago, a block from my Nashville home…

“When I walked out of the bedroom, down the hallway, and into the living room, there she was.
Face down on the ground.
Palms facing towards the sky.
“I really don’t have time for this” I thought to myself.
But how was I supposed to see my wife facedown before the Lord and not, myself, do the same?
So down I went.
And it wasn’t even 45 seconds.
But this is what I prayed…
“God. I’m overwhelmed. Like seriously overwhelmed. I’m not in control anymore. Please be in control. I give up.”
I stood up, kissed the fam, walked out the door, and drove to the gas station.
There was nothing about my pump partner that screamed racist.
It was a Nissan Pathfinder not a Ford F150 with a confederate flag.
But I could literally FEEL him staring a hole through the back of my neck.
It’s funny.
I don’t know what it is, but, I can just TELL when someone is hating on my pigment.
And I could tell.
Finally, after 45 seconds I turned around and looked at him.
He was still staring.
I wanted to say “WHAT?!” but simply smiled and looked back down.
A few seconds later he got in his truck, rolled forward a few feet, rolled down his window and…
“Go Home !#$@ Nigger”
It wasn’t even a yell. A scream. Which caught me off guard.
When this has happened before it was more of an announcement to the world of the individuals ignorance.
This was different.
If he could have whispered it he would have.
It was just for me.
In .5 seconds he peeled out.
In 1.5 seconds I was right behind him driving east on 40.
What was I planning on doing?
I have no idea.
All I could think about was just one good punch in the face.
I probably gave pursuit for 30 seconds.
30 seconds of self dripping, anger filled pursuit.
Then, almost audibly…
“You got on your face this morning and told me I am in control, yet here you are trying to be in control…”
And I eased off the gas.
My heart was racing.
I had to take a hit off my inhaler.”

I wrote that a year ago. And I have new thoughts today…

Last night I was on my sofa thinking this… “THE PARENTS SAID DON’T DO THIS!!! MICHAEL BROWN’S PARENTS SAID PLEASE DON’T DO THIS!!!  HOW COME THESE IDIOTS ARE BURNING THE PLACE DOWN!!!”…

AND THEN I REMEMBERED THE POST ABOVE… That time only a year ago I was chasing an ignorant, small minded, small you know what, idiot. CHASING HIM. SPEEDING. WANTING TO PULL HIM OUT OF HIS TRUCK AND FIGHT.

And then suddenly burning buildings didn’t seem so far off.

Because although we ALL know it is not RIGHT… When you are IN THE MOMENT… Clarity does not exist. And clarity did not exist for those in Ferguson.  Only pain and adrenaline.

So dear CNN producers who are calling all those burning the buildings down idiots…
I’d like to call them carnal. I’d like to call us all carnal.
I agree. And I also agree that when any of us get pushed far enough, any of us… white, black, of 50 freaking shades of grey…
We will ignite.
We are all carnal to a point. Some are just waiting for the right time to show it.
And FYI… You will never know when it will rise.
It. Just. Does.

So today, as you are quick to judge… BE SLOW TO SPEAK.
Because before you know it, it will be you holding a match, speeding down the freeway, or throwing a punch.

Thank God for grace, mercy, and the fact that Jesus got back up… for moments just like this.

Eyes gazing at God while glancing at life…
Los