With THIS ISSUE we turn 40, as our cover notes. It’s also discussed in two articles, a column, and our editor’s page, not to mention the balloons. You couldn’t throw a dart at this magazine without being reminded of the fact that we’re 40 years old. We’ve been around the block a few times. Crow’s feet are appearing at the corners of our eyes, and we just ordered an ear-hair trimmer off eBay. (Although as a rule one probably shouldn’t buy previously owned tools for personal hygiene. These things often come with a history that we’d probably rather not know. But I digress.)
Fortunately, 40 is the new 34, or in my case, 38.
I showed up at the magazine two years after it all started, which is why I’m still known as The New Guy. Most of the editorial staff have been here nearly as long. In fact, our collective term of service at Sojourners adds up to more than 100 years. Which means that if we lay down in the hall, end to end, it would once again test the patience of the UPS guy, who would have to maneuver around us to deliver those packages that are so important to the mission of Sojourners (although to be honest most of them are from eBay).
WHEN GOD CALLED me to Sojourners, I was the art director of the Chicago Sun-Times Sunday magazine, a publication whose future was limited only by the fact that nobody read it. It was a short call from God, if memory serves, kind of like a tweet, only without the backslashes. (At least I think it was God speaking to me. I heard this still small voice, but it could have been the guy in the elevator whose foot I was standing on.) Today God probably reaches out with Twitter, or texts if more comprehensive instructions are needed. (“Put down your nets, and I will make you fishers of men. LOL.” Andrew and Simon Peter, tweeting back: “Um ... would you repeat that? Backslash, backslash, smiley face.”)