“We aren’t fighting against human enemies but against rulers, authorities, forces of cosmic darkness, and spiritual powers of evil in the heavens.”

Ephesians 6:12 (CEB)

A precious two-year-old girl was shot in the head and died down the street from my church in a road rage incident. It makes no damn sense at all! I’m sick of it! Our babies are not even safe from the madness of people wanting to kill each other.

A lone woman went out to protest at the scene where Lalah Washington was shot. I want to run out into the middle of the street with her and scream, “Wake up and stop killing each other!!” But who would listen?

I would be screaming into the wind. My fight is not against the people but against evil powers and principalities. My fight is against systemic racism and economic injustice that has produced demented people who don’t value their lives or the lives of others. My fight is against unjust legislation and plantation politics that has been in existence in Memphis since the days of “Boss Crump” and has resurfaced as parents wail in the ears of a tone-deaf administration.

We are at war for the souls of our people who have been taken captive by hopelessness and self-hate. We are fighting against dark powers and principalities in high places. These high places are high positions of power in legislative branches of government. We have to fight for tighter restrictions on gun laws. We have to fight for $15 living wages for the poor. We have to fight for funding for public education in Memphis City Schools. We have to fight for healthier alternatives for our youth other then holding camps in juvenile delinquent centers for prison.

We have to come together and use our collective faith and strength to leverage our power against the real enemy.  It’s going to take grassroots organizations who are suspicious of religious organizations to work with Interfaith organizations who are just as concerned about social justice as they are. Yes churches, mosques, and synagogues can do more and there is a remnant wanting to do more. We can do more than pray, but prayer is essential because we are fighting against spirits. We need collective strategy for action and hope because faith without works is dead.

Yes, we need to take it to the streets and demand safer streets but we also need to take it to the steps of City Hall and demand more money for our children in public education, workforce development, and safe community centers. Yes, we need to take it to the streets but we also need to take it to the steps of the state Capitol and ask republicans if they are ready to do something about living wages for the majority poor in this state. And gun violence now that their colleague has been shot.

Why can’t a little black girl getting shot in the head over road rage cause us to be outraged enough to put our differences aside and come together to do something about violence, poverty, crime, education?

If you are sick of this war against the souls and the lives of the innocent in our city meet me tonight at BRIDGES located at 477 N. 5th Street, 7-8:30 p.m. As we all know, there is plenty of work to do as we seek justice in our city, and we want MICAH to represent the broadest coalition of congregations and community based organizations.

Enough is enough!

Dear God,

We are sick and tired of seeing our seed dying in the streets. Babies are being murdered by bullets and ballots. Give us the collective courage and unity to come together to stop this senseless killing. Help our politicians to wake up and realize that this is not a game! Lives are at stake. Wake us up as a people to fight for legislation that changes the trajectory of oppressive laws that have disguised their racist and evil intentions. Remove hopelessness and callousness from the hearts of my people. Show them how to love themselves and their neighbors. Help them to know that those who live by the gun will die by the gun. Help us to cry loud and spare not. We are ready to act! Hear our prayers and concerns tonight at Bridges before we have to show back up on the bridge and shut this city down. Help us to build a bridge of common concern for human rights and moral standards so that we can show our people a more excellent way to co-exist and how to get to the other side of man’s inhumanity to man.

In Jesus’ Name,