Fatal Run

Ahmaud Arbery’s murder strikes a deep chord in me, as it should in all of us. His murder is senseless.

I remember one morning I sat curled in the fetal position on the bathroom floor wondering if I should walk out the door to run. Following some unusual activity on my running app, I had been warned that men may hunt me down on my GPS or memorize my running schedule. As a woman who had been stalked in college, this did not seem entirely unlikely to me.

I can ruminate endlessly on all the factors surrounding my fears, and the sources that augmented them at the time. But what I remember the definitive moment that I began waking up at four and not thinking about it anymore. I stood next to my bed a bit later that day and thought, “If I die, I know where I am going.”

I got up the next day and kept running anyway.

I confess, fear for my own life is far less than fear that I have over those I love. To think someone that I love, one of the girls I have lived with, or my friends’ children might die in such a senseless way is beyond tragic.

Sometimes I am tempted to think, “What can we do about it?”

I don’t want to compare my fear to what actually happened in this man’s case. As a woman, I do live thinking about how I might be assaulted by a man. I did take a group of girls I love to self defense class.

And yet, it doesn’t matter how strong you are when you face a bullet and you are unarmed. As a woman, I may fear assault, but some of my fellow image bearers have faced murder simply because of the color of their skin.

I wish acts like this would become so reprehensible to the public that shame keeps people from such senselessness. But the truth is—there are wicked people in this world who are beyond being shamed by anything.

They persist despite their shame. They keep going and acting in ways I could never fathom.

And yet, I speak. Not often, and not always. But sometimes I just cannot help but say something as we all weep over a senseless tragedy. As we thank God for some semblance of justice even as we ask how an act like that could happen.

 

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