Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Lisa's Commission

I have just finished reading Rev. Jim Wallis' God's Politics and it has been an inspiration. It's hard for many to find hope in this highly charged political environment, but Wallis manages to convey hope almost effortlessly, with a little help from his friends.

He closes with the story of Lisa Sullivan, an African American street organizer from a working class family in Washington, D.C. Lisa earned a PhD. from Yale, then returned to work with "forgotten children of color," as Wallis puts it. At age forty, Lisa died of a rare heart ailment. A close friend of Wallis', she was on the board of his "Sojourners" magazine.
Lisa's legacy is continuing though countless young people who she inspired, challenged, and mentored. But there is one thing she often said to them and to all of us that has stayed with me ever since Lisa died. When people would complain, as they often do, that we don't have any leaders today, or ask “Where are the Martin Luther Kings now?” - Lisa would get angry. And she would declare these words: "We are the ones we have been waiting for!" Lisa was a person of faith. And hers was a powerful call to leadership and responsibility and a deep affirmation of hope.
May we all heed that call of encouragement. We are the ones we have been waiting for!

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