We hear the term “ally” often, and it usually refers to a person who wants to support and advocate for people who experience marginalization yet do not experience that marginalization themselves. The true marks of an ally are actions that demonstrate solidarity with the marginalized. Rather than think of an “ally” as a person, it is more accurate to think of doing “allyship” as a verb. We are not an ally, we do allyship alongside the oppressed, the marginalized, and the overlooked. Cultivating a life of allyship requires work–internal work, interpersonal work, and communal work.
Meet our first writer in our series Allyship: A series towards solidarity, Michael Stalcup.
For Ralph Yarl, Kaylin Gillis, Payton Washington, and Kinsley White
The wrong house.
The wrong driveway.
The wrong car.
A six-year-old’s basketball
gone astray into
the wrong front yard.
These people were all shot
just for showing up—
just another week in America.
How long, O Lord, must we wake
up in a country with more guns than people,
more mass shootings than days?
Rise up, Prince of Peace!
Put a stop to people profaning your name
at the altar of God and Guns.
Rise up, King of Kings!
Pierce the hearts of our politicians
with compassion, or else with judgment.
Then our children will be able to run free again
in the world that you have promised—
where guns are melted into garden tools,
and neighbors pause their planting
to return a young girl’s basketball
with a smile.
Michael Stalcup is a Thai American missionary living in Bangkok, Thailand. His poems have been published in Commonweal Magazine, First Things, Pax, Red Letter Christians, Sojourners Magazine, and elsewhere. He co-teaches Spirit & Scribe, a workshop helping writers to integrate spiritual formation and writing craft. You can find more of his work at michaelstalcup.com.
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