Representative John Lewis died on Friday, July 17th. He is known for his passionate commitment to civil rights, justice and equality for all, for his sacrificial leadership and critical witness on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965. It came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.” In the end, he would be arrested some 45 times throughout his life.
He started young, meeting the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at eighteen years old. He was the youngest speaker at the March on Washington for jobs and freedom in 1963. A Baptist minister, he was the last living orator who spoke on that historic day. But his voice is not lost as he told us: “I want to see young people in America feel the spirit of the 1960s and find a way to get in the way. To find a way to get in trouble. Good trouble, necessary trouble.”
And many Millennials and members of Generation Z are doing just that in protesting the deaths of unarmed African Americans by police officers and citizen- deputies in America’s streets.
But, what of the work of the Church in North America, of your church and in your community? What “good trouble” have you gotten into lately? What “necessary trouble” has your name written all over it? If you don’t know, find out. Seek it out. But by all means, get in “good trouble.”
I wrote a tribute to Representative John Lewis for Good Faith Media, which can be also read by clicking here.