The urban neighborhood where we have chosen to live is not always joyful. My heart has been broken more than a few times. But this place and its people have been my salvation.
Sustained, uninterrupted attention is an unusual gift, both to ourselves and to others. It may be the thing that saves us. The moment of pure attention contains within it the possibility of a future worth having.
Baldwin’s “mystical” solution to the lies of white supremacy is immensely practical. Such spirituality looks like organizing our communities to attend to the political and economic wounds our nation inflicts and to bring into practice a community that is at once more grounded and more beautiful than we have dared to imagine.
Despite their disturbing, even demonic, histories, both white supremacy and nationalism are back. Now they are fused with Christian zeal, a mixture that has only ever been – and will only ever be – toxic.
I have a role, just as each of us who gets caught up in the in-breaking of God in the world has a role. But that role only has meaning in the context of a community that struggles together.
In Fire by Night, author Melissa Florer-Bixer invites us to encounter the God of the Old Testament in new ways. Joining in God’s liberative work in the world is an urgent matter, which makes the patient care of reading these old, old faith stories all the more important.
From the formlessness of these midnight hours in America, out of the void of oppression and injustice, something is being born that will create a new song for all God’s people to sing. But the revolution, when it comes, will be improvised.
From one perspective, Skeet was the embodiment of all the problems plaguing our neighborhood. When you can only see broken windows, Skeet looked only like a broken man. But no person or neighborhood is only broken. What the folks closest to the ground knew was that Skeet helped hold Enderly Park together.
The form keeps shifting, but the outcome has remained constant for generations. Those on the bottom of the hierarchy have calamity visited upon body and spirit and household. The trouble – racism, greed, violence – crushes people.