Safety haiku

Dear President Biden,

This morning our Senior Minister, the Reverend Dr. Kelle Brown, preached on “Entrances and Exits” for Palm Sunday, juxtaposing Jesus’s triumphal entrance into Jerusalem with his horrifying exit from this life via crucifixion. In unpacking her understanding of what happened to Jesus at this crucial juncture she lifted up the idea that none of us is safe. She encouraged us to accept that no matter what we do, safety is a myth and we need to let it go so we can do the work that we need to do before we die, whenever and however that happens.

Yesterday morning I opened my gmail and the entry at the top of the page was from Joseph, who posted the following on the Nextdoor Ravenna listserve: “Time to arm yourself in Lake City. It’s getting bad out here.” The first response to this post was from Ryan who said: “Jesus….. there are actually other solutions in life than arming yourself.” To which Joseph replied: “Feel free to do what makes you feel safe Ryan.” I am not including last names (and I am not making this up), but otherwise have not edited anything – we really have Joseph and Jesus showing up in an argument about whether residents of the neighborhood just North of us should be buying guns for self-protection to increase their sense of safety.

The juxtaposition of yesterday’s exchange about arming oneself and Dr. Brown’s sermon revolving around the idea that safety is a myth led me to the following haiku:

Safety is a myth.
Let it go. Justice requires
bravery and love.

May we all feel safe even as we accept that safety really is tenuous, at best.
May we be willing to take the risks we need to take to move justice forward.
May we be brave and strong and steadfast in our expressions of love.
May we accept that our entrances and exits may look and feel very different.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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