Get Away, Jordan: Eulogy For Jordan Edwards

05/05/2017 01:56 pm ET Updated May 05, 2017

Delivered May 4, 2017 in Balch Springs, Texas at the vigil for Jordan Edwards.

The name Jordan has rung forth with prophetic hope for many people over many generations.

The etymology of that name means “to descend” or to “flow down”.

It speaks of the River Jordan that flows down from Israel to Jordan, that river which served as the entry point of the Hebrew people into their Promised Land. That same river whose waters served as a baptismal pool for The Christ. That same river re-imagined by my people upon American shores, for they recast the mighty Ohio River as the Jordan knowing that as soon as they crossed over, they would know liberty.

For the joys of liberty, my forbears penned their prophetic hope in subversive song:

Get away, Jordan!

Get away, Jordan!

Get away, Jordan!

I want to cross over to see my LORD.

Yet, over the past week, the name Jordan has not rung out with joy or with prophetic hope. Instead, it has rung out with a palpable pain. As the name Jordan has rung out, our souls have cried out,

“Oh God, not another hashtag!”

As the name Jordan has rung out, our hearts have cried out,

“Oh God, not more innocent blood spilled upon car seats!”

As the name Jordan has rung out, we have lifted our voices communally towards Heaven to cry out,

“How long, oh God, must we continue to endure the sting of police brutality?”

As the name Jordan has rung out, our hearts have been broken over and over, again.

Even after the fact, our hearts desire has been to shield and to protect that young soul.

And so, we have also cried aloud, “Get away, Jordan!”

Get away from that party!

“Get away, Jordan!”

Get down the street!

“Get away, Jordan!”

Driver, drive swifter!

“Get away, Jordan!”

Get away from Oliver’s gun!

But Jordan is no more.

Still, he did get away.

Away from the ills of this world. Away from the racism passed down from generation to generation as America’s greatest inheritance. Away from evil itself.

Jordan crossed over to see his LORD.

So, rest on sweet Prince Jordan. We will see you on the other side. While we remain present on this side, though it stings, we will continue to call forth your name. And we shall continue to pursue justice for you and for all who have fallen to police brutality.

Your living - and your dying - will not be in vain.

We shall continue to pursue justice until justice flows down like river waters, and righteousness, like a mighty stream.

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