Special Feature: A Lament from the Twin Cities

Enzi Tanner is a Black American Jew. Professionally, Enzi works as a social worker working with LGBTQ + families experiencing homelessness. Enzi believes life is a journey that is best lived through exploration, curiosity, and wonder.

 

“Adonai is my shepherd, I lack nothing.”

 

No one should lack for their basic needs,

yet we live in a world of vast inequity.

The divide between those who have

and those who have not seems to grow wider every day.

Where are these “still waters” we were supposed to be led to?

The “green pastures” seem to have withered away.

And yet… Adonai

You have set the nation on fire to awaken us. 

 

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley…”

 

Too often we walk about in utter darkness.

Is this the part where I am supposed to say, “I fear no evil”?

Because my hands have not stopped shaking in days…

Truthfully, I have always been scared—

not of afraid of a mythical “boogie man,”

but of good ole boys

and what they could do,

what they would do,

to this black, trans, Jewish body.

 

“… For you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

 

Adonai, You are my shepherd.

You lead me back to community,

where we can comfort each other,

and challenge each other to build a more equitable future.

Monuments

that were erected during the height of the Klan

are starting to come down.

NASCAR has banned the use of the Dixie flag,

and declared,

BLACK LIVES MATTER!

 

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies… my cup overflows.”

 

You have indeed prepared our table “in full view of our enemies.”

When will we be able to sit together and feast,

enjoying the bounty of justice and peace? 

 

“Surely your goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life…”

I am uncertain about tomorrow,

and yet…

Adonai, You are my shepherd,

I lack for nothing.

 

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The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.