April 24, 2018
To the R.H. Boyd community,
In light of recent events, both locally and globally, I want to reassure you that our company stands firm in the fight for justice and peace. When the shrewd coldness of the world seeks to choke out the light, we are commissioned to hold true to the Apostle Paul’s charge that, “the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). We are to maintain that faith which orders our steps and a hope that longs for a better tomorrow. But it is love that grants the ability to pick up the pieces in times of tragedy. It is love that seeks justice for not only our people, but also for all who have breath and fall victim to the senseless, inane acts of violence that stem from the depths of hell. Love repels hate, as light repels darkness. Through love, justice and reformation must be sought. We, the people, are tired.
As they sat in a place intended for comfort and fellowship, evil felled four young lives and devastated many others. Taurean Sanderlin, Joe Perez, DeEbony Groves, and Akilah DaSilva did not deserve this fate, yet their memory will live on through our fight for the remnants of humanity. They will live on through the voices who cry, “Enough!” They will live on through those who have the courage and faith to keep rising.
The unintentional hero, James Shaw, Jr. showed the utmost courage, as he did what many of us could not. By risking his life, he was able to save the lives of countless others held hostage by the circumstances. Imagine the voice in his head, the pulling on his spirit, that said, “now is the time.”
In a place and time where safety is questioned at every footstep, opened door, and swift approach, we must act out of love and not be paralyzed by fear—for the sake of self-preservation and that of the community. We as an organization are praying for the families of those who were lost, for those physically injured, and for those traumatized by this sequence of events surrounding the tragedy. We are praying for the Antioch community and all other cities impacted by domestic terrorism, as we mourn loved ones lost to a cause of death that has become all too common. We are praying for all beings—both human and beast, that evil relinquishes its hold on this creation. We are praying that our existence is not continuously marginalized, and that we are not desensitized to the suffering of our neighbors.
Safety is among the most basic needs of the human existence. Now is the time to make systemic change for the safety, sanity, and soul of humanity.