When I was young, I lived for moments. Today, I’m living for time. Langston Hughes has a poem that included the line, “life is short, but God is long.” That’s how I feel these days.
My decades as a Christian activist have taught me valuable lessons. I’ve had to learn a lot of these things the hard way, but I boiled a handful of “lessons” down to twelve common sense and overlapping principles of protest, some of which are adapted from my book Free At Last? — all of which are based on familiar biblical truths.
They’ve served me well at different levels of cultural engagement, so I offer them as a reminder of our true focus, the gracious God who has ‘shown us what is good.’ I hope they can help us avoid the “syncretistic subculture” discussed in my last blog, and save us unnecessary tears and wasted years as we seek to ‘do what the Lord requires of us — namely “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with...God” (Micah 6:8).
Many of you in the field will already be familiar with these concepts, but there are also some men and women I’ve spoken with who are just wading into the waters of protest and prayer, even at this stage. If you don’t find these principles helpful today, I hope they will be useful in the years to come. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, there will always be something in our immediate surroundings that will fall short of God’s plan for a just society.