for Carvell Goodlow: Do the Holy Thing

The name Carvell Goodlow triggers a chaotic caucus of words that I don’t even want on my doorstep they hurt they scream painful; they read Carvell Goodlow, a good boy was killed on Sunday, September 2018 in Huntsville Alabama for no reason by a black boy who lost his humanity. Carvell Goodlow was pursuing a degree at Oakwood University this real news I can hear it now that statistic about black boys killing black boys I can see fingers pointing I told you black boys don’t understand that their lives matter I see the news media shouting about how this news not fake and how it is true the Huntsville city police caught the boy who killed goodness and goodness was and is Carvell Goodlow and the boy who did the killing is black and this hurt but . . . .Hear this:

The death of Carvell Goodlow deserves no neatly constructed sentences or punctuated thoughts. Carvell’s murder is a reminder that this world is what Christian folks call a strange place, an unfamiliar land, a place where humanity was strangled from one black male to the point where he killed.

And for what!

The glimmer of hope in the senseless death of Carvell Goodlow may be found in Carvell’s voice: “It’s Time to Embrace Everything God Has Place Inside of Me For His Glory. People Won’t Understand But I Must Live For Him.”

Carvell Goodlow died doing the “Holy Thing.” He lived for God. He lived his life as a Christian soldier; he was a casualty of war.

What then? How shall we honor this Black male-son. In memory of Carvell, the Oakwood University campus family came together in reflective sadness imbued by celestial hope to celebrate Carvell Goodlow’s life. As I sat through the memorial service, I was reminded of a line from Sonia Sanchez’s poem about a young man who died too soon. The line from the poem—“to live seventeen years is good in the sight of God.” Carvell Goodlow lived “good in the sight of God.” He was doing the “Holy Thing. He yearned to “walk with the Lord.”

My prayer: in memory of Carvell Goodlow, I walk the “holy thing” as he rests. I hope you will do the same!

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