God Cannot Breathe?

Following Eric Garner’s death, someone commented, “God cannot breathe.” Why assign to God our own despair and inability to right this massive wrong? If we would all have the courage to live as radically as God calls us to, might racism itself suffocate?

What a mortal prediction
This saying, “God cannot breathe.”
Poignant in its profundity,
But, oh my God, it leaves
    so much room for unnecessary despair.

We stifle ourselves,
Shoving vinegar soaked rags into our mouths and biting hard
Making God into our image
We pretend to be Spirit’s bard
    We welcome the confines of hell.

God breathes just fine!
And He’d roll His eyes if we hadn’t made it such a wounded mess,
Our pointed fingers on hollow hands
Insist on capturing in words what refuses to be confessed.
    We pretend to lose our minds.

We’ll return to laugh with God.
His rumbling roar will knock our Babel down,
Our tragedies will shrivel on their vines
As Spirit – who is Breath itself – comes ‘round
    This suffocation’s fraud.

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