I Have No Words

I have no words for the horrific tragedy in Charleston and I spent much of the weekend trying to make sense out of it, even though I knew that I could not. Like most Americans I was in shock and in disbelief, and like some Americans I hold in my heart the long and painful history and memory of the brutality endured by blacks in this country by racist white people.

I have inherited the memory and know too well the history of slavery, Jim Crow, The Tuskegee Study, the bombing of and burning of black churches, police brutality and Black Lives Matter. I grew up listening to stories from my parents and my elders about what they endured growing up in the south.

When I was barely four years of age a white woman pushed me as I walked up a hill from the playground because she did not want me playing with her daughter. I still remember running home. I was crying and my arms were bloody from the fall. My mother who was very pregnant with my brother grabbed a knife from the kitchen and then went looking for this woman. Years later I asked her why she grabbed the knife and she told me “If a woman would push a child, I had no idea what she would try and do to a pregnant woman.”

I’ve been called nigger, I’ve been called black bitch, and other phrases that indicate that someone only sees me for the color of my skin and not as a person. And here I sit, it’s 2015 with another memory that I can share with my parents, and my grandparents.

I have no words…

But for some reason the Beatles song Let It Be started rolling around in my mind. My spiritual director might say that it was God talking to me. I’m not sure..The song kept playing in my head so I grabbed my guitar to learn the song. The more I played and sang the song It provided me some comfort.

Sometimes I guess it’s OK to have no words:

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

And when all the brokenhearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
There will be an answer let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom

Let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, yeah, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be,let it be
There will be an answer, let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, yeah, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

 

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