Thursday morning I was in the gym lifting some weights and for some reason my mind drifted to an interview with Treyvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, that I had seen before leaving home. Before I knew it, tears were streaming down my cheeks…
I know that some people wonder why this situation is so outrageous compared to all of the other senseless killings of young people throughout this world but there is something different about this random act of violence. I can’t quite put my finger on it but there is something about this incident that is resonating with more Americans than we have seen in a while.
It could be that Treyvon could have been many of our little brothers, sons, cousins, uncles, best friends or countless young black men in our lives who regardless of social economic status are warned about the racial dangers that they still face in our society.
It could be that the killer is not some nameless face that the police are still searching for and gathering clues about but that there is conclusive evidence of who did and how it happened yet nothing has been done to further justice.
It could be that the Sanford Police Department represent what most of us fear about our police departments… That they will not protect and serve all of us rather take it upon themselves to be judge and jury for only a few of us.
It could be that once we found out that Treyvon had allegedly been in the medical examiners officer for three days before his family was contacted, our hearts dropped imaging the agony that any parent would feel not knowing where their child had been for three days only to learn he was laying cold and alone in a morgue.
This situation resonates with me because as I remembered his mother sitting through the television interview trying to hold back her tears, she said, “I miss my baby.”
I think about my son and thank God every day for his grace and mercy and pray that He keeps my son safe but in the back of my mind, I know that could one day be my son. A mother’s love, whether you carry a child in your heart or your womb, is an indescribable bond that many of us feel with our children.
I imagine how his mother must feel when she thinks of Treyvon’s last minutes and how afraid he must have been. A mother’s love always wants to comfort her baby and let him know that everything will be ok, even if we aren’t sure that it will be.
I imagine how she must have felt when she saw his lifeless body and wanted to wrap her arms around him but knowing that those little arms would never return her hug. A mother’s love never wants to let go because no matter how tall, old or ornery they become, they will always be our baby.
I imagine how she must feel every time she sees his smiling picture knowing she will never again hear his laugh or see his face light up over some inside joke that they probably shared. A mother’s love looks into her child’s eyes and knows more about him than he knows about himself.
I imagine the strength it must require to fight for the justice that our democracy supposedly guarantees when all you really want is for it all to be over. Like the first verse in the 13th chapter of first Corinthians, a mother’s love is patient and kind but when it needs to be, it brings out the warrior in even the most timid.
Most importantly, I imagine all of the love that she has in her heart, that she has poured into her son, all of the love that she had left to give with no vessel to receive it.
I often try to describe motherhood to my friends who don’t have children but until they experience it there are not enough words in the English dictionary to adequately summarize what can simply be described as a mother’s love… There is no way to describe the lengths of the earth, the width of the world or the depth of the sea that we would venture to make life better for our children.
I pray that all of mother’s who have lost children, for any reason, are blessed with the strength to endure the pain that their hearts must feel. There can’t be a way to get over it, a way to forget it or a way to just move on. I can imagine that you must learn to endure the ache caused by the loss of the little person who was once of you but now is no more; that you must learn how to speak again; how to walk again; how to live again but there is no substitute for the recipient of a mother’s love.