Excerpt: Let Justice Roll Down
Let Justice Roll Down
Regal Books 2006, 219 pp
By John M. Perkins
Something happened to me in the hospital. God showed me I couldn’t do everything alone. I couldn’t be the big strong superman showing blacks the way to the Promised Land.
I needed to build a community spirit. I needed to learn to lean on people. We had to come together. We had to become God’s people — His Church — for anything good to happen in Mendenhall. We had to teach blacks that the answer is not in following the white man’s way of competition and power. We had to need each other.
As I lay on my bed and thought and prayed over this, all the scars and hurts of the past seemed to fade away. I got another transfusion of God’s hope. For a moment, I had seen my pain as the violent, convulsive end to everything I’d worked for.
But God had entered me and made me see it as the stinging, bittersweet beginning to everything He was going to do in Mendenhall. We were just getting underway.
So I came out of that long stay in Tuft Medical Center determined not only to keep on with the work, but seeing more clearly than ever what was the true heart of our work. Groups have always seemed to me the best way to go about getting things done, but now I was seeing more clearly than ever how important it is for Christians to be the people of God, and not just a collection of individual believers who gather weekly for the convenience of joint worship on Sunday.
To develop the Christian community as a group which could show love within itself and to the world would be creating a new entity that was more than the sum of individual Christians. The community’s existence itself, as a structure, would open up so many new channels of strength and witness. Individual heroism and suffering, though always needed at times of crisis, would not be able to inflict such terrible isolation on the individuals who lived and breathed in a brotherhood of intertwined lives.
John Perkins, president of John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation and Development of Jackson, Mississippi. He is one of the leading evangelical voices to come out of the American civil rights movement.
|Learn more about The John Perkins Center by watching the video This is the John Perkins Center on iTunesU.|