My Brief Stint as an Activist

Written by beyondwords : March 7, 2008

After stirring up enough action in my community to get myself labeled as an activist and find myself on the wrong side of a reporter’s notebook, I’ve decided it’s time for me to withdraw back into my comfort zone.

I’m resuming my typical position safely behind my own reporter’s notebook, my laptop and my by-line, telling stories instead of becoming the subject of one myself.

This withdrawal is not a retreat–I’m not licking my wounds or nursing regret–I simply recognize my role as initiator is a limited one–and it’s time to let other people run with the ideas.

It all started when emerging issues concerning a sustainable local economy intersected with my network of relationships and my vision for stewardship and holistic gospel.

I believe that intersection was an act of the Spirit.

Briefly, I’ve introduced locally owned, independent business owners in my community to an organization that can help them with a business and consumer awareness campaign dedicated to their specific needs, to help them level the playing field with the chain stores and corporate enterprises.

And I’ve spurred some influence leaders to begin a dialog to define sustainability in the context of my community’s resources and culture–in an inclusive manner taking into consideration marginalized people as stakeholders.

I’ve had to resist intimidation on many fronts. The big economic development powers are not going to be allies for the “local first” business campaign.

And those same “powers that be” haven’t yet realized the value of bringing an inclusive vision of sustainability to the table.

Although I haven’t faced intimidation by the faith community, I feel isolated. And although it seems clear enough that people who take seriously Jesus’ commands to care for “the least of these” should be in the forefront of initiatives like these, those commands have become secondary or tertiary on some hierarchical scale of spiritual priorities.

In my community, faith tends to be compartmentalized and overly spiritualized–and even polarized between evangelicals and mainliners. Sometimes it seems we’re proclaiming two versions of the Gospel.

So, underneath all this, my prayer is really something like Hebrews 10:24:

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.”

And that’s the kind of action I believe the Spirit wants to stir up.

Author Bio:: Beyondwords has far too much energy and imagination to admit she’s a middle-aged woman living in the Midwest. A freelance writer and journalist, she hasn’t figured out the writing life requires solitude, so her home is always full of children, teenagers, foreign exchange students, and people seeking short-term shelter. She’s currently undergoing a subversion by the Holy Spirit. It’s leading her out of empire, forcing her to dig in and unearth the gospel in hearth and home, community and relationships.

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3 Responses to “My Brief Stint as an Activist”

  1. wezlo on March 7th, 2008 11:14 pm

    You might like my post on how I’m not an activist - even though part of me would like to be:

  2. beyondwords on March 8th, 2008 9:12 am

    I love it. And now ***sigh*** I think I’ve found another blog to subscribe to. :)

  3. Danny on March 9th, 2008 9:29 pm

    Good story! I liked it. I think activism is an interesting thing, but it is always said how often it quickly passes.

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