{receive & enter}

thoughts on the way

“Nonviolent campaigns against authoritarian regimes are twice as likely to succeed as violent ones.”

Let America Be America Again

"America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!”

“When we focus on accompaniment, we realize what our work really is. Service is fundamentally about relationship, and as such it invites us to redefine work. Yes, it involves mixing concrete or ladling soup, but it also means walking with and listening to the suffering, sharing stories and laughter, tears and prayers. Understanding service as accompaniment reminds us to whom the house really belongs, and to Whom we really belong. A mission or service trip is always a potential pilgrimage, a time to surrender ourselves totally to God and God’s poor. Our agenda, our ego, our need to achieve and accomplish—we are invited to let it all go and to meet those we hope to serve on their turf, on their terms. This kind of surrender gives us the key to a chest of heavenly treasure, in which we’ll find, among other things, an unfinished house.”

“Service work, if it is to last, must be about accompaniment more than accomplishment. Yes, we want the house to be completed, but rushing it, doing it on the volunteer’s timeline, makes no sense in the long run.”

“Let me repeat: the unified family of God is the answer to the problem of race in America. For years, black Christians have invited white Christians to participate in the unified family of God by leaning into justice issues that affect black people. White Christians, are you ready to wake up???”

“Indeed, looking back on America’s political iconography, there are disturbing trends toward the glorification of white violence. Peer inside the US Capitol building, and you’ll find a monument to Confederate President Jefferson Davis — the leader of an insurgency that caused an unprecedented quantity of violent white deaths.”

“Yet the disturbing truth, according to the FBI’s most recent homicide statistics, is that the United States is in the wake of an epidemic of white-on-white crime.”

“The life options of an American child are still determined by race and zip code; and black life, it seems, is still expendable—the stereotypes of threatening black masculinity placing all black males in the crossfire of American insecurities”

“Our country is simply not paying enough attention to the terrible lack of accountability of police departments and the way it affects all of us—regardless of race or ethnicity. Because if a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy — that was my son, Michael — can be shot in the head under a street light with his hands cuffed behind his back, in front of five eyewitnesses (including his mother and sister), and his father was a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who flew in three wars for his country — that’s me — and I still couldn’t get anything done about it, then Joe the plumber and Javier the roofer aren’t going to be able to do anything about it either.”

“In America today, I’ve come to believe, God’s Word for us is, “Go to hell.””