As I finally sit down to write for this 20th anniversary issue, I'm quite conscious of being late. The deadline for my article on "the vision of Sojourners -- past, present, and future" was several days ago. I suppose that's appropriate. Over the last two decades, many deadlines have been missed. Karen Lattea, our managing editor, is being understanding -- again. We always somehow make it, she reminds me. Sojourners issues have been completed and sent out to do their work 198 times with this issue.
The topic I am to write about is quite formidable, and the time is short. That seems familiar, too. For 20 years, the task has often felt daunting, while the necessary resources of people, time, energy, and money feel so very small. The biblical story of Gideon's little army has always been a personal comfort, but I suspect old Gideon must have really wondered whether he and his tiny band were up to the job.
If we were just doing a magazine, and I was just an editor, we would probably make our deadlines. Instead, we crisscross the country and the world, speaking and listening. We stay rooted in the life of a poor, violent, and desperately struggling inner-city neighborhood in Washington, DC with all the time and energy that takes. We try to remain connected to each other and faithful to the great experiment of community which fills our lives, at various points, with deep sorrow and real joy, with bitter disappointment and fervent hope.
We protest injustice and war while trying to find alternatives. In the churches, in the streets, in the courthouses and jails, and in the corridors of power, we try to proclaim a better way and, indeed, to say that faith requires one of us. All of this has been undertaken because of a decision we made a long time ago: to try to practice what we preach -- not simply to say it but to do it.