My Letter to Trayvon Martin – a spiritual perspective

Dear Trayvon,

Thank you for your time on this planet.  I celebrate your life even as I mourn your death.  Thoughts of you have had me in tears, off and on, for almost two days.  Although I never knew you on this earth, I have come to identify with you through your death.  You and I share the fact that we incarnated on this planet in brown skin.  Although that means nothing in the Life after Life where you now reside, as you know, it means a lot here on planet earth.  Most people focus on the superficial aspects of life and on the endless ego-based power struggles that dominate the unenlightened experience on earth.  Focusing on these things elevates the significance of color, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation – turning these glorious expressions of God’s creativity into justifications for exploitation, discrimination, and, yes, even murder.

Trayvon, your death hurts me because I have two sons – beautiful young men who could be shot dead in the street because someone in the majority culture viewed them as a “threat”.  Your death reminded me of all the times white people have cringed when I walked into a room, clutched their purses to their bodies, locked their car doors as I walked blissfully down the street, denied me opportunities for flimsy reasons, or completely ignored my presence.  Your death reminds me of how brief and sometimes bewildering this life on earth really is.

It also reminds me that justice is something that eludes us in this country at this time.  It reminds me that my real home is in the heavenly realms from which I came and to which I will one day return.  It reminds me of my duty on this planet in the meantime – to do what I can to establish a fair and just society, one that would never tolerate a man gunning down a child in the street like a dog and walking free.  Your death reminds me that I have spiritual and physical work to do in my lifetime.

Your death also caused me to honor our physical ancestors today.  Their everyday life was one of humiliation – where they had to daily swallow their anger and indignation just to stay alive.  As African-Americans we are still burdened with the task of swallowing our anger and rage in order to make money, survive, and get along in this country.  But our ancestors bore the major brunt of this struggle and their strength is a model and inspiration for our own.  They were not broken by their struggle and, likewise, I am not broken.  I will do what I can, from the vantage point of communion with God, from the energy and Spirit of Love and Peace, to continue the quest for justice in this country.

Dear Trayvon, rest in peace, my son.  Thank you for the Light you brought to your family and friends while you were here.  Thank you for unwittingly being a martyr in the struggle for peace and justice on the planet.  I promise not to forget you.

In solidarity,

Raven Burnes

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