Atatiana Jefferson, a Black woman, was unjustly and brutally killed by a white police officer in Fort Worth early Sunday morning, October 13 2019. Her death occurred shortly after the conviction of another white police officer in the murder of Botham Jean in Dallas on September 6, 2018. And a few days after that, Joshua Brown was killed, also in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
It is not possible for me to write a litany for every tragedy that has occurred, every unjust and unconscionable killing, every shooting, every violent outbreak. Instead I’ve tried to offer helpful prayers that can be returned to in the event of yet another fatal event. Such as this, this, this, this, and this, this, and this.
However, today this prayer spills out of me, and I offer it to all who might find it helpful in some small way.
God, we have lost another precious human being
To senseless violence and unjust brutality.
Her* name is Atatiana Jefferson
And she was, and is, beloved my many.
Oh God we cry out for an end to these seemingly endless and unnatural deaths,
For an end to brutal policing and corrupt institutions,
For an end violence against black and brown people,
For an end to white supremacy and oppression.
We ask for love to come and cover this multitude of sins.
We ask for supernatural peace to overtake this chaos.
We ask for human life to be regarded as sacred by all people,
Regardless of origin,
Regardless of race or ethnicity,
Regardless of privilege,
Regardless of any external signifier,
Regardless of circumstance.
We know that the best resister of empire
Is Christ himself;
And the best lover of humanity
Is Christ himself;
So we willingly undergo the ego transformation
Required to follow Christ’s path
And live in his way
Of radical unconditional love and powerful humility.
We honor all beings as divine creations
Reflecting the image of their creator;
And we lament and grieve the mistreatment and loss
Of any precious person.
We lament and grieve the state of injustice in which we live,
And our complicity with evil power structures.
We pray for Atatiana’s* family and friends,
And for all those who now feel unsafe to exist in this world.
We pray for the justice of heaven to prevail on this earth,
And for healing of every hurt and restoration of every broken thing.
*God forbid we every have to use this prayer again for any other person. But if we do, the pronouns and names may be changed.