For the last several nights, I have watched as the images of tension in the city of Ferguson played out on my screen. For days I have tried to come to some understanding. The truth is I can’t begin to understand. I can’t begin to act like I understand the tension of either the moments we see on the television or the ones that brought us here. There are plenty of web sites, social media posts and blogs that can offer some opinions, this is not one of them. The best I can offer tonight is this…. a plea for forgiveness to the entire city of Ferguson and every one just like it.

Forgive us Ferguson.

Forgive us for not extending love that knows no boundaries.

Today I felt led to reach out to some friends I walked the halls of my high school with. I wanted to know what their thoughts were. There were tensions in our town and our school, but not like this. Well, not for me at least. I reached out to these friends because they were and are my friends. Our friendship didn’t know race or any other boundries. It just knew friendship. Please, out of respect for them, clear your mind of all you’ve read and heard. See this through their eyes.

From my friend Edward –

This is unfortunately reality for us. Furguson is one example of many. I am constantly posting and forcing people in my news feed circle to be prepared and aware of the inequalities due to the color of skin, sexuality, and personal choices. What seems often as a rant of complaint comes from a very honest place from experience. What is necessary is to speak and to educate the young. What might be late for us can be a possibility for future generations. Silence for me means no hope.

From my friend Darren –

Nothing is being addressed to stop what is going on. People are getting angry and I fear a blacklash that would be worse in American history. What can we do? I have no clue. When peoples mindsets are stuck, there is not much you can do save a miracle. Look at my FB page. People are not happy with what is going on in Ferguson, but always have to look at the negative that draws away from the real issue. It’s like people are saying, Awe that wasn’t right to do that to that boy…but do you see those black people looting? And they focus on the latter forgetting about the former. Am I making sense?

From my friend Theodore –

Also, one thing I believe we should keep in mind is that this is not a just a “black problem” but an American problem. Everyone is effected somehow by the atrocities of this event. I don’t quite know how to explain it to people but once everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) understands that this horrible situation effects all Americans, then people will be more inclined to accept the universality of this problem and hopefully that will lead to a dialogue where everyone can work together instead of all the finger-pointing that makes people shut down and not see the real issues at hand.

Forgive us for not understanding the tension of feeling as though so much is against you.

Forgive us for our judgement of either side.

As the news and reports escalated, I called a friend that wears the uniform to serve and protect in the City of Columbus. He is a man of integrity in one of the toughest areas in our city. I’ve stepped into his world a few times for a ridealong. I wanted to know what he thought of all that was happening. One thing he shared was this –

There are men on the front line of those protests each night that have never prepared for where they are. You can’t simulate these tensions in a workout session, academy or a classroom. People have every right to express their displeasure. It’s understandable. There is just incredible tension in those moments. 

For a moment, imagine yourself where they are. I understand what put them in this place, but for a moment, put yourself in that uniform, in that tension.

Forgive us for not understading the tension of serving and protecting a community. 

I don’t think this post will change the world. I just felt led to share this tonight. These are friends of mine. These are guys I respect and care for and love. I wanted to get their feedback because it wasn’t spoonfed from some media outlet. It is raw and real. My hope is if you took the time to read this, maybe you took a second to pause and consider all of the views as well. Maybe you’ll join me in asking ALL of the people of Ferguson for forgiveness. May we all look through a lens of a love that knows no boundaries or limits.

Forgive us Ferguson.

Forgive us for not extending love that knows no boundaries.

Forgive us for not knowing how it must feel. 

Forgive us for acting as if we do. 

Forgive us Ferguson. 

Forgive us any city USA that could be just like it.