John Lewis and Good Trouble


Last night I dreamed that made 1,000 copies of John Lewis - a picture of him from the cover of Times magazine.

When I start a new journal, for inspiration I select an image of someone I admire and paste it on its inside cover. John's passing on July 17, 2020 deeply affected me. His life was a lived message of what Valerie Kaur calls Revolutionary Love in her stirring TED talk. Mr Lewis was relentless in his quest for justice.

John Lewis lived his life with a fire of committment that stirs wonder in me. Can you imagine, at age 25, believing in something with such certitude and vehemence that you oranganized and led a march without regard for your own life? This was just a beginning for Mr. Lewis. Throughout his life he pushed with his body and soul toward a vision for a free, just and equal world.

"Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble."

Perhaps my dream was a desire to get into "good trouble". To plaster my town with the 1,000 images that say this to me:

Stop. Let us pray together.

Let us hold the pain of the black community.

Let us pause to consider what it means to live black in an unrighteous world.

Let us all pray together as children,

Before we knew we had a different covering,

When we spoke in the knowing language of smiles, held hands and hugs.

Let us take one step, then another, on a path to understanding each other.

Let us know the reality of injustice, but never stop working for what can be.

And in John Lewis' words:

"We are one people with one family. We all live in the same house... and through books, through information, we must find a way to say to people that we must lay down the burden of hate. For hate is too heavy a burden to bear."

John, may your work of justice live on. May we write about it, read about it, and work toward your vision.

© 2017 by Namaste Connections.