Strength From the Inside Out

This article is adapted from an interview with N. Gordon Cosby in Washington in mid-June 1991. Sojourners' Carey Burkett began by asking Gordon Cosby what we have to be thankful for, as we look back over the past 20 years. -- The Editors

As a movement, as people of faith, we can be thankful we have survived the past 20 years. Survivability is very difficult when we try to take an alternative position and try to be alternative communities in the midst of the sort of atmosphere and climate we've lived in. But we have developed a capacity to hang in there, and not only survive but grow.

There are a lot of us on the same page. We've got a common language. That to me is a very important thing. We have good people, who are seeing these issues of justice, peace, concern for the poor, work with the inward life, and the importance of prayer.

What Sojourners contributes to this network is a national and international voice that deals with the same issues local groups are. For those people to have access to the thinkers and the commitment and spirit Sojourners brings provides support that is very important for all of us working with these concerns. To have someone out there saying "Amen" is probably more important than most people know.

One of the great weaknesses of our movement, however, is that while we've talked a lot about the inward journey, I doubt any one of us has actually worked with the inner life in the depth that is crucial. Many of the groups working with justice and peace issues have not developed structures that really take people into their depths. So we have an idea, a concern, an aspiration, but it remains an idea because there are too many inner blockages.

Parker J. Palmer has addressed this issue in a very straightforward way:

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