(the first of many letters)
by Mary Courtney Blake
I am not really sure what I am sitting down to write at this moment, but there is something inside me without words aching to be consoled. And, so here I sit. I will not likely finish this in one sitting, yet I must start somewhere. My soul is aching to tell of love and cruelty, these are my tears in letters spilled across this paper on behalf of my neighbor.
I do not yet know how to be an advocate. I do not know how to paint picket signs or implement public policy. I often do not know what to do in the face of cruelty or injustice. I, too, have let my inadequacies silence my voice. But, this must be said: there is too much pain in this world, too many tears of sorrow, too many fists.
Your neighbors are weeping but you are not near enough to witness the agony. They are being bruised and beaten. They are dying outside of your emergency rooms and hospitals. They are huddled under the bridges you drive across going to and from. They do not have enough to eat.
Yet, somehow, it is you who are worse for the distance. It is you who has forgotten how to love. It is you who no longer sees God in the eyes of the stranger, because it is you who cannot meet their gaze. Distance is costing you your love, your freedom, your compassion; it is costing you your humanity.
I weep for you, dear friends, because you have missed a chance to meet God face to face.