Living In Real Life
As some of you from MN may have heard, a Maplewood police officer was fatally shot in St. Paul on Saturday morning. The suspect was shot and killed by a St. Paul officer later that morning. The second suspect is now in custody.
What makes this story more than just a news story to us is that it all happened in our community — the east side of St. Paul.
We heard the chopper circling for hours.
We heard the sirens.
We know the intersections and neighborhoods.
We know the jogger who witnessed the murder and radioed for help.
His name is Bill, and he’s our neighbor.
He feeds peanuts to the squirrels.
He jogs every morning down our alley.
He has the most meticulous yard and driveway for miles.
And he stood 200 feet from the execution of a husband, father, and officer. He searched through a bloody squad car to find the officer’s radio. He is likely the only witness to that grisly event. And his actions sent the manhunt in the right direction.
This is real life.
My life gets sucked into pseudo-reality so quickly. A reality I create for myself or that is presented to me through television and worldly ideals. But living in real life means that we acknowledge the horrors of human depravity. We don’t shield our eyes from bloodshed. We can’t close our ears to the cries of the oppressed. We should not relocate our bodies to the places this world calls safe and comfortable.
We need to live in real life.
It is loud and wearisome. It is harsh and frightening.
And only in this real life can we even begin to understand Jesus, his promises, his peace.
The place I want to live is in this real life. The place I want to raise my children is in this real life. The call we have is to live here. In real life.