Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Creative maladjustment

In church on Sunday I encouraged the congregation to read MLKs Letter from a Birmingham Jail. We gave out copies and I hope at least a few people read it (or read it again). If you did, please let me know what you thought.

As part of my MLK celebration, I went to a community service event sponsored by the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. Like many such service projects, it was short on service. But that's not LVC's fault - not at all. The work was short because they had such a big turn-out. Far more people came than were expected. I filled one disaster relief box. It took less than five minutes. But at the end of the hour, hundreds of boxes had been made. There was a spirit of fellowship and inspiration.

For me, the best part of the day was catching up with people that remind me that cynicism isn't all there is. Unplanned, I ended up at an event at Sojourners where Vincent Harding spoke. This was the first time I'd heard of him, but I'm eager to check out his work on MLK's shift from working primarily on civil rights to expanding to do poverty and then anti-war work.

I felt blessed to be in Harding's presence and enlivened by a community based in hope. The beloved community. Harding quoted MLK widely, including a call for creative maladjustment. Love that term. Creative maladjustment. For MLK, it meant creatively refusing to adjust to a society that treated him as less than fully human. Its a Jesus-y kind of idea, to creatively maladjust to those elements in the world that are counter the good news of God's love. Where in our world does following Jesus mean that we should creatively maladjust too?

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