“Hell yeah!” The kids were pumped up. The park is a sacred space for our family. Communion meets us at the swings. Baptism meets us at the creek. Worship meets us everywhere. In such a spirit, I peddled swiftly. Upon arrival, everybody jumped out of the cart. I was scared that somebody was going to get hurt. They were not.
Playing is strenuous. No doubt about it. I had to sit down. Exhausted, I threw myself down on a bench. I didn’t notice the woman sitting next to me. I was a little surprised when she spoke. After exchanging some pleasantries, the subject of police brutality came up. For the life of me, I can’t remember how we got there. Regardless, we did. The woman explained that her husband was a cop. I found her discussion of their hopes and realities to be interesting. Attempting to be transparent, I explained that I was an ant-police brutality activist and that I had organized the protest were the five Dallas officers were killed. We continued to talk and then departed with further pleasantries.
This conversation transpired at least a year ago.
Just this past weekend, the officer got in touch with me. He declared that I had researched, tracked down and threatened his family. This man had constructed an entire narrative around a completely innocent/random (and almost boring) conversation. I was shocked that he was so afraid (afraid for his life) of having a high profile activist living in his neighborhood. He’s the one with the gun, right? I don’t know whether to pray for the cop or encourage him to seek psychiatric help for fierce anxiety. When I offered to meet up with him and talk things through, he repeatedly said no. Even after I apologized and explained the interaction, he was still afraid.
The conversation made me realize that there can be tremendous power in mere existence.
Love justice and you will forever be a threat.