One of my good friends read my last blog entry and sent me an email that said, “Way to stay low key right off the bat.” If you could type with a sarcastic tone of keyboard, she would have been doing it. Her point was, of course, that I had been anything but “low key” in my blog, and she was poking fun at me for diving into the pool with no thought whatsoever to dipping my toe in first to check the temperature.
I have never been a wader; I either take the plunge or don’t even bother putting on my trunks. (It’s funny, even when my family goes wading in a creek, my first objective is to get out into the deepest, fastest current, rather than stay close to shore and dabble around in the shallows.) What is at stake in the debate between rigid fundamentalism and vibrant diversity is nothing less than the life of the Church, so I really see no need to screw around. Call me selfish, but I love the Church, and it is being stolen away from me, and I want it back. So I’m selfish. I’m diving into the river (or perhaps we could say the rainbow).
I am encouraged that there are others out in the current with me, others who refuse to stay close to the nice, safe shoreline barely getting their ankles wet. Dr. King would sat that there are a lot of people wading in those shallows over there who would prefer a “negative peace,” or “the absence of tension” (the Pax Romana), to a “positive peace,” or “the presence of justice” (shalom). “See,” they cry out in self-satisfied arrogance, “I’m in the river.” Come on, pal, you haven’t even rolled up the cuffs of your jeans, yet!