Here is what one of my friends wrote: "And who is my neighbor?" The story opens with the lawyer asking a question to test Jesus: "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus asks him what the scripture he knows so well has to say about this, and the man correctly answers that the essence of religion is to love God whole-heartedly, with body, soul, and mind. Jesus replies that if he does this, eternal life is something he will never have to worry about. Now-let's freeze what comes next. Hold this in your imagination. Let's all of us-together-let this work on us. "But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?'" It's this wanting to justify ourselves that keeps racial conversation from going deep. The racial bias in too much law enforcement cannot be justified. Tragedies that should never have happened, including shootings and brutality not caught on cameras, cannot be justified. The murder of good and decent public servants, police officers who put their lives at risk every day, cannot be justified. And our racial defensiveness cannot be justified. The lawyer in front of Jesus is more interested in justifying all of his reasons for putting limits on the ones he is obligated to call neighbor. In a perfect world of shalom/salam, all Americans would lay down their guns, lay down their prejudice and biases, and listen to each other. As a white American, the deepest calling I am perceiving is to listen with attentive ears and an open heart, without trying to justify what cannot be justified.