I was riding the metro home from work today. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary--I was bundled up in a cozy winter coat and scarf, Phil Wickam serenading me with the acoustic guitar that I miss oh-so-much, the pre-recorded metro man regularly announcing the next stop over the intercom.
Then two women, one about my age, the other significantly older, got on, and the minute they boarded, they zeroed in on a girl with Down Syndrome seated a few feet from where I was standing. They remained by the doors but proceeded to put on a shameful display of distasteful gestures, finger signals, and things of such nature, with ignorant, ugly jeers oozing from their mouths all the while. They continued their leering, provoking the girl into response, which only spurred them further on. The older woman pulled out a bag of rubber bands and the two women began shooting them in the direction of the now distraught and agitated girl. Absolutely indignant and burning with anger, I 'casually' walked over to the girl and planted myself in front of her, as if the handle bar I presently clutched was the only available grip on the whole metro, my body just 'coincidentally' shielding her. The volley of rubber bands did not cease, but I simply kept my back to the women and turned up the volume on my iPod, their verbal insults increasing but bouncing right off, just like the bands.
The girl got off at the next stop, and the two women the stop after her (thank you, God, I would not have known what to do had they attempted to pursue her). I only had a few more stops myself, but wow, I was M-A-D. Humanity sucks so bad sometimes.
And I think it is the complacency of everyone else on the metro that made me the most angry. It wasn't rush hour-packed, but there was a decent amount of people; all the seats were filled and many were standing. And yet NO. ONE. DID. ANYTHING. They all just sat around nonchalantly, acting as if the outrageous display was normal or even acceptable. Most averted their eyes and attempted to pretend as if nothing was going on. Some were so bold as to blatantly stare and drink in the whole situation like it was a thirst-quenching liquid, and still remain passively seated. How in your heart can you simply watch injustice and allow it to continue? It's not even like we're talking about martyrdom or starting a revolution here!
I fumed the whole walk home. Sightings report that smoke may have been seen coming out of my ears. Jesus, forgive me for the unjust bitterness I harbor against those who incite and perpetuate evil, for the place of judgment belongs only to You (not to say that we cannot hate injustice itself because God certainly does). But I pray that You would shake us out of our complacency and give us a boldness to follow our heart's calling to speak up for those who don't have a voice, those who don't have the strength to stand up, and those who continue to be beat down. Make us a channel of your light and salve.
I want to see your justice heal and bring hope to this broken world.