Luz is beside herself, and already worries every time I leave the house. Her fears have arisen because of numerous “near misses” in our own lives with these kinds of situations, where brushes with similar circumstances caused us to change r cease many activities we used to enjoy. (Yes, I have been in situations where an official pulled a weapon on me and by God’s grace, didn’t shoot before their questions were exhausted.) When the scenarios were recurring and came without warning or expectation, they altered our life practices forever. We don't bother sharing these scenarios most of the time, because we’re not sure we could endure the disappointment of people we love and care for defending what seems to us to be the indefensible.
Think of this perspective when you consider Botham Jean’s death. You’re at home in your apartment. Out of nowhere, a stranger appears in your home, armed, with a weapon pointed towards you. Even if one became aggressive towards the stranger, wouldn't one be within one's rights to sense danger and use protective force? If Mr. Jean surmised that his life was indeed in danger –indeed it was - and had acted to protect himself, (and there is no evidence I've heard that he did that), would he not have been within his rights to defend himself. Would he have the right to expect to be safe in his own home, and not to be shot by a trained law enforcement officer, especially if he stood fast and made an inquiry without aggressive action which is what seems to be the case based on what has been reported? Instead, it appears that he was totally caught unaware and shot on sight! Now, he is dead.
This situation and the reaction to it exposes a malady that continues to fester in this nation. Situations that shouldn’t involve deadly force end in death with unanswerable questions and bitter conclusions that somehow justice has not truly been served and may not ever be served. There are no easy answers and no feel-good endings. I am angered by this situation yet know I must deal with my emotions constructively and in a way that is true to the Lord I serve. For that reason, I will continue to seek to “act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with God.” Nevertheless, I will do so with an agitated spirit and a troubled mind. Lord, please give me your peace and a double portion of the fruit of your Spirit! I press on in faith – not in people, but in the Lord I continue to serve.