Sojourners Magazine: July 2012
OUR ABILITY, WITH God’s grace, to help each other overcome fear—and all its subtle temptations to put up walls—is front and center in this month’s issue. In “Breaking the Bubble Wrap,” Brian D. McLaren and David M. Csinos explain how parents’ desire to protect their children from the world’s dangers can simply pass fear on to the next generation. Instead of raising too-sheltered children who may grow up with an ethic of fear and scarcity, moms, dads, and other caregivers who take the risk of truly engaging the world along with their children can see them blossom into thoughtful young people unafraid to follow God’s call, including the call to social justice—people such as Sojourners editorial assistant Anne Marie Roderick, who shares about her upbringing in “‘Croon Her to Sleep with Freedom Songs.’”
Fear, whether of the unknown or of losing what one has, is also a part of the territory that Isaac S. Villegas and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove unpack in “Stability vs. Mobility,” and which Eboo Patel traces as he argues that “sacred ground” should be defined by who we let in, not who we keep out. Fear and blame, as Jim Wallis describes in “The Idolatry of Politics,” are the key tools of those striving to foster a political idolatry that crowds out a faithful concern for the least among us. And, as Jeannie Choi reports in “Changes in Attitude,” fear of open discussion about homosexuality is something that evangelical colleges are overcoming as gay and lesbian students and alumni, and their straight peers, engage in frank and honest conversation.
It is not just analysis and discussion but also, as Lynne Hybels describes, shared pain that breaks down walls: West Bank resident Siham Abu Awwad, grieving the loss of her brother and her nonviolent activist mother, finds unexpected healing in the warmth of an also-grieving Israeli woman. The journey away from fear and toward reconciliation is never easy, but with God, and the love manifested through our fellow creatures, all things are possible.