Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This too shall pass

There was a shooting in Seattle late last summer. A man died--a man who had a very hard life, filled with addiction and homelessness and poverty and a lot of living on the fringe. The man who shot him was a Seattle Police officer who perceived the man as a threat. The city of Seattle is turned completely inside out over this--how could a policeman be threatened by an inebriated woodcarver? People are furious.

But I am just so sad. I'm sad because that police officer is a guy we know personally. And frankly, he is a man of incredible character. I don't know what happened that day, but I do know that this loss of life is a tragedy. And I could never, never, never believe it was a calculated murder. Or that his action was motivated by racial prejudice. It was a horrible, painful tragedy that makes me sad for the vulnerable people on the streets of Seattle and sad for people like Ian Birk--people who have tremendous integrity and have to make terrifying split second decisions every day in the name of public service. They are human beings.

If you're the praying sort, send a prayer for our community and the fractured relationships we're trying to sort out. Nobody wins here, and it's going to take a long time for this to heal.

No comments: