Angelic Troublemakers

Mindy’s sermon yesterday was about holy troublemakers. She told some of the story of Bayard Rustin, and shared his quote (in gratitude list, below) about being angelic troublemakers, about placing our bodies in the cogs so the wheels don’t turn. Not too long ago, House Representative John Lewis referenced Rustin’s point when he said it was time to make some good trouble.

What does that look like today? I don’t work at a place where ICE is making arrests. How do the regular citizens harbor and shelter people who are living in fear of deportation? How do we fight through the moral exhaustion of the daily destruction of human rights and protections for the environment? What does it mean to “tuck [my body] in places so the wheels don’t turn”?

Yes, teaching high school students is part of making change, pushing them to examine their inner worlds, to think with clarity and compassion, to explore their own relationship to others and the world. Still, I think the times are calling for more than good people quietly doing good things. But I don’t know how to fashion a response. I don’t know how to step into those places Rustin is talking about.


Gratitude List:

  1. The holy priestess voices and words of the vocal trio yesterday morning.
  2. The gathered community of birds and small animals on the back hill yesterday: goldfinches on the thistle sock, a red-belly woodpecker and a hairy on the suet cake, juncos and white-throats, starlings. Bluebirds murmuring from the woods edge. Reginald the Happyfat, a squirrel. A skyful of Canadas calling above. A woodchuck running along the edge of the hill. Sun shining. A little bit of Eden.
  3. Angelic troublemakers. May we have the courage to place our identities and our bodies where hope and justice lie. “We need in every bay and every community a group of angelic troublemakers. The only weapon we have is our bodies, and we need to tuck them in places so wheels don’t turn.” —Bayard Rustin
  4. Spiritual practices that keep me grounded and centered.
  5. This little Peter Pan cat. He’s at least six years old, but you’d think he was a baby kitten–he’s so sure he’s my little baby.

May we walk in Beauty!

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