Revolution? by Ra Mendoza
John M. Perkins is the founder and president of the John M. Perkins Foundation in Jackson, Mississippi. He is a prominent civil rights activist, author, and founder of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA). I have read his books, been inspired by his stories and passion, and desire as well to live a life that continually connects our need to work for justice and reconciliation to the root of who God is. I am currently taking a class on community organizing and am learning some practical ways to live this life that I long for. The principles I am learning in this class are some of the same principles I see reflected in the life of Christ and the work that Perkins speaks. I am realizing our work as urban change agents is a journey…a journey of bridging our faith and the reality of what is going on in our cities and neighborhoods. Community organizing is about empowering people to use their voice. It’s a work that seeks to see dignity given back to those who have been oppressed, isolated, and those who have been taken advantage of by the established powers in their cities. This class has given me the space to connect two worlds, my love of Jesus and my passion for justice. At times these two worlds seemed so distant, but I continue to realize that they are one in the same. What is our belief in Jesus if it is not lived out? What is our belief in Jesus if we are not working to love and see God in the people around us. What is our belief in Jesus if there is not a care and attention given to the outcast, the poor, the stranger in our community? In this video attached Perkins speaks with such emotion about Jesus and I can’t help but get excited when I listen to his voice and feel the passion in his heart. “When they told me about Jesus, they ignited a revolution that they couldn’t hold back.” When I hear this phrase I think about my classes and the learning that is taking place. I am doing much more than learning about a skill as a future community developer, I am learning how to live out the teachings of Jesus. And in my heart I feel something igniting. Maybe revolution isn’t as big and intimidating as I once thought. Maybe revolution is working in our neighborhoods to see that people are treated well, cared for, and loved….and if that’s the case, then the revolution has already started! And we all can be a part of it.