Last night I posted this to Facebook with the caption It's a beautiful time to be alive.
I posted it at 8:30 p.m.
Of course I didn't know that at that moment, a young white man was sitting in an iconic black church, words of love and liberation washing over him, calculating just the right time to open fire on people whose only crime was being black in America.
It was a lynching.
As of this writing, my Facebook post had 162 likes. Many of them came in after the events in Charleston. I'm grateful for every one of those likes, because I have a hard time believing it's a beautiful time to be alive. I'm so tired of the violence that I can scarcely even muster the energy to be outraged.
And if I am sick and tired of being sick and tired, I can only imagine what African-American friends and colleagues are feeling. A friend shared that her church is having a meeting to see about hiring a security guard, which they would share with the church across the street. I don't need to tell you the racial makeup of those congregations.
162 people clicked a button in agreement that it's a beautiful time to be alive., which is such a small thing, but I needed every one of those affirmation.
Because it's true. We must fight back with beauty.
But the beauty we employ cannot be a soft, Thomas Kinkade beauty. No, we need beauty with an edge and a spine. We need Mark Rothko beauty. We need Sylvia Plath and Langston Hughes and Miles Davis.
My friend Denise Anderson wrote this post. Read it and suit up.
It is a beautiful time to be alive. But only if we make it beautiful. And we have to. We just have to.