Riots.

Do you remember back in August when the UK riots broke out? First in Tottenham, then they spread, some big, some small, across the country. We watched the craziness from our TV screens, some of us from our windows, some of us hearing first hand stories from those close to us returning from the cities and towns. In the UK we couldn’t believe what was breaking out around us.

 

 

It caused fear to rise up in us.

It caused anger to rise up in us.

It caused judgement to rise up in us.

It caused frustration to rise up in us.

It caused compassion to rise up in us.

It caused hope to rise up in us.

It caused motivation for action to rise up in us.

 

It caused. It affected. It impacted. It broke past our walls, our barriers, and hit our hearts dead center. We watched, we listened, we talked, we won’t forget.

 

Now 6 months later I watch as riots break out across another land. The land that captured my heart, stole it and shook it till I could not help but ache and weep for the lost potential, for the brokenness, for the people full of shattered dreams.

 

From thousands of miles away I watch through my TV screen, I see photos plastered over the internet, I hear the stories across the radio. I watch as a people so full of potential, so able to make a change, hurt themselves, as they layer pain upon pain. I watch as they destroy what has been built up, as they demolish what has been laboured over for years. I watch as they cause yet another generation to grow up knowing destruction, violence, death, insecurity, teaching them that gunpowder solves all problems. And as I watch something very different rises up in me.

 

It causes longing to rise up in me.

It causes pain to rise up in me.

It causes frustration to rise up in me.

It causes desperation to rise up in me.

It causes despair to rise up in me.

It causes anger rise up in me.

 

But above all this is causes my heart to break once more, for everything in me to weep, for the tears to cascade down my cheeks. I cry out:

 

“When? When, oh when, will you stop your foolish fighting? When will you lay pain and hurt aside? When will you learn to forgive? When will you start living your potential? When will you take your shattered dreams and piece them together again, one shard of disappointment at a time? When will you live for the babes in your arms? When will you start to build a world of hope, of possibility, of safety, of love and forgiveness, for those disappointed-yet-still-hopeful eyes, for those naked-footed-innocent children?”

 

It causes me to wonder if change will ever happen. You my beloved country are on the tipping point, which way will you choose? What do you want? The choice is yours. Only you can really make the change. We will help, we will pray, we will love, we will hold you as long as we are able. But it is you who holds all the influence, it is you who decide the future of your land, of your children and your grandchildren. Choose wisely for your actions will last through generations.

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