Life just seems wrong in this moment in time. I truly wonder if, and how, our country can recover. A pandemic, an economic depression, and now vast civil unrest.
The senseless, tragic death of George Floyd on a Minneapolis street has prompted outrage, soul-searching, and protests. Like many of you, I’m viewing what’s happening in our nation right now with a very heavy heart. But the lens I’m viewing it through has an added dimension.
If you have family members or close friends who work in law enforcement, your lens, like mine, may be cloudy with extra smudges of emotion and stress. Whether your LEO is on the front lines of a protest or not, there’s an added element of anxiety when you watch the news and see police images on your tv screen — images of a cop kneeling on the neck of man until he died, of cops standing by doing nothing, of cops in tactical gear kneeling down in support of the protestors, of cops praying with protestors, of cops who look confident, and of cops who look scared.
There are loads of conflict in those images and in your emotions about them. You fear for their safety; you take pride in the servant heart most have; you feel anger at those who abuse the authority; and you pray each one of them will make the best and right decision at every critical moment.
Yesterday, I reached out to friend. I felt compelled to do so, but I was nervous I wouldn’t say the right thing. She’s black; I’m white.
This woman is all-around AMAZING. She’s a working mom of three kids, ages 8, 13, and 21. She finished her graduate degree last year. She’s a fitness instructor. And she’s married to a cop.
Her heart is heavy, too, with the burden of worry and conflicting emotions she carries every day.
She told me she was glad I reached out. We had a positive, warm exchange last evening and continued it this morning. We scheduled a video chat in the days ahead. My initial nervousness at sending a simple text now seems silly.
She shared with me her sense of optimism and hope that things may be changing, finally.
“I’m loving people asking so many questions and trying to understand. It gives me so much hope! And this is the very first time…in all the shootings and things that have happened…that I am seeing that. Something is shifting!”
There is scripture and old sayings about how joy comes in the morning following a night of weeping. Let’s all continue to pray and hope that it does, that she’s right about the “shifting.” If my amazing black-and-married-to-a-cop friend can be hopeful, then so can I. But more than hoping and praying, let’s put in some work to make it happen. How do we do that? Conversations, it seems, are a good place to start.
P.S. – I debated whether or not to post this here on the BWG website. It’s clearly not about work. At BWG, we take pride in authenticity and developing personal relationships with our clients and colleagues. So, welcome to my world. It’s your world, too.