My Heart Can’t Break Today

By

Rev. DeWayne L. Davis

 

Over the last few months, I have attended several religious and theological conferences. Many sermons, workshops, and presentations have focused on responding theologically and prophetically to intractable problems in our world. Experts and theologians have provided great wisdom that I know will help me address various cultural, political, and economic issues impacting our community. In those conference offerings, there was no minimizing how bad things are nor any attempt to mask or avert the gaze from the horrors of war, racism, and oppression. At a recent workshop, just as I was settling to hear a presentation and began to take notes, I heard myself whispering, “I need a break from the hard stuff today. I don’t know if my heart can take another break.” At that moment, I remembered a poem I wrote after the news of the killing of Philando Castille when I was not ready for one more story of police violence and the killing of another black person. I know the work of justice continues, but I am compelled on some days to say . . .

 

My heart can’t break today.

I want to take a walk and enjoy the breeze.

I want to sit out on the deck, drink good wine, and tell good stories.

I want to laugh hard and be loud about silly stuff.

 

My heart can’t break today.

I want to pay attention to the gifts of blue sky, singing birds,

and oddly shaped clouds that look like puppies, Jesus, or one of the Golden Girls.

I want to see old friends and reminisce about bad dates, big mistakes,

and how we overcame them.

 

My heart can’t break today.

I want to think warmly about people before they profile me, ignore me,

or hurt me.

I want to trust in the ideals and values they taught us in school

long enough to combat the cynicism and hopelessness

of one who has seen too many sad things.

 

My heart can’t break today.

The weight of hard things has made my heart too heavy.

The distance between the ups and downs keeps shrinking.

I need time to recover, see hopeful things, and hear better news.

No, my heart can’t break today. So, wait to tell me what you have to say to me.