The reading from Ecclesiastes begins: “I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, wickedness was there…” And he goes on: “Look, the tears of the oppressed.” I feel that the protests that are going on around us at the moment are a challenge for us to open our eyes and really look at what is going on in our society. We need to look past the comfort of our white privilege.
I remember when I first arrived in La Jolla, I came from a very racially diverse neighborhood in London, and was amazed by what I saw here. I saw that all my new neighbors were white and all the gardeners were brown. It was the same in the restaurants. My fellow diners were white, and the staff largely brown. I distinctly remember feeling that I had landed in a land of apartheid. But now I don’t notice. Now that doesn’t strike me as odd. I have got so used to seeing that distinction that I no longer see.
I read this passage as a challenge to me. I need to look afresh, see again, the injustice of which I am a part. My prayer is that I look at the tears of the oppressed and really see.