The challenges of maintaining balance between the introspection of contemplation and the extroversion of social action… being both thinker and doer…architect and builder… prayer/meditator and server… has been a recurring theme for me since my first philosophy course in college.
I choose to honor and work to safeguard a middle way. Contemplation + Action = Sacred Activism.
Thinking by itself and for its own sake can easily become solipsistic, self-centered and self-serving. Action by itself can be impulsive, reactionary and chaotic. I have increasingly less tolerance for theological debates and pompous rationalizations in the name of God.
In response to the Ferguson, MO grand jury announcement recently, Rev. Tony Lee, minister of The Community of Hope African Methodist Episcopal Church in Hillcrest Heights, MD invited Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark Magaw and law enforcement senior managers to a special service on Sunday, November 30, 2014. The service was his response following the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing 18-year-old Michael Brown.
I do not know Rev. Tony Lee and I am not a member of the AME religion but I respect and honor what he appears to believe, his understanding of Christianity and his proactive, faith-based and community-based response. His ministerial action demonstrates that he chose to take the New Testament’s thoughts and transform them into a message of hope rather than despair, rage or destruction. Rev. Lee’s leadership style speaks volumes about his prayer life, his understanding of the Christian message and his community’s need for social conversation, understanding and healing… not to mention the powerful role model this man is for every Black adolescent male in his congregation.
Effective ministers reflect the Sacred while watching and listening to the sights and sounds; visions and voices of their faithful… and sometimes they facilitate timely social work.
Sacred activism’s time has come.
Thank you, Rev. Lee for your leadership. Some of us are following.
As always, I welcome your respectful feedback and comments. Blessings!