Some time ago I asked my brother if he could print a poster for me where this mother in the middle holds her son in a Black Lives Matter protest. I put the poster to a frame and hung it to my office wall. It has been there for six months now. Before today, I haven’t paid attention to what this mother in the photo has written to her mask. It says: ”Don’t kill my son”.
Bruce Springsteen told in his Broadway Show about his complicated relationship with his father, and also about an event when his father drove to visit him only a few days before his firstborn was about to due. During the visit his dad apologied for not being a very good father, and then he invoked Bruce to release his children from the chain of their sins, his sins, and Bruce’s own sins. Next in the Broadway show, Bruce said this: “We are ghosts or we are ancestors in our children’s lives. We either lay our mistakes and our burdens upon them, and we haunt them as ghosts. Or, we assist them in laying those old burdens down, and we free them from the chains of our own flawed behavior, and as ancestors, we walk alongside of them, assisting them to find their own way, and some sense of transcendence.”
Today, when I saw it for the first time, what this mother has written to her mask, it hit me. There is long history in so many levels, of how our ancestors have battled against ghosts: Ghosts of fear, ghosts of racism, ghosts of hatred, ghosts of ”you name it”.
This is not only related to racism. It’s related to all of us: Don’t let your heart turn into ”a ghost” which starts to haunt something you fear, or someone who hurt you. This mother here is preaching a sermon to us: ”Release the next generation from the chain of your sins and of your parents’ sins!” This mother, who is holding his son tight in a protest, is a saint.
Father, I pray that this son’s children would never experience racisms. Amen.
PS: You can find ”Springsteen on Broadway” from Netflix.