It was on a Christmas night.
In the state named for the flowers
Men came bearing dynamite
It could not be in Jesus’ name
Beneath the bedroom floor
On Christmas night the killers
Hid the bomb for Harry Moore
“I have to go to law school for me,” a friend told me after months of reflection. “I have to do it not for others, but because it’s the right thing for me.”
Ours was no cheap grace with promises of mega-congregations and massive expense packages. We did it for the people we served. There was work left undone, and, we believed, God was calling us to finish what the ancestors started.
My friend’s words reminded me of the enormous burden that comes with saying yes. No, we weren’t carrying crosses that fed an unhealthy martyr complex. We didn’t bring dysfunctional emotional baggage to the work of ministry. We regarded the calling, and work of ministry, as the continuation of work started long ago. We felt and embraced the pain that stirred revolts led by Gabriel Prosser in Virginia in 1800, Denmark Vesey in Charleston, South Carolina in 1822, and Nat Turner in South Hampton County, Virginia in 1831.