“Where might you expect to find the baptized?” asks Rowan Williams in Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer. “In the neighbourhood of chaos,” he replies. “It means you might expect to find Christian people near to those places where humanity is most at risk, where humanity is most disordered, disfigured and needy. Christians will be found in the neighbourhood of Jesus—but Jesus is found in the neighbourhood of human confusion and suffering, defencelessly alongside those in need.”Read the whole article. Where does your baptismal faith lead you?
Archbishop Williams’s assertion leads me to believe that my desire to visit Ferguson can be attributed to something more than an impulsive, 24-year-old frontal lobe; it can be attributed, at least in part,to a baptismal, sacramental impulse that acknowledges the holiness of the cosmos and the holiness of black lives; the holiness of the universe and the holiness of queer and transgender teenagers surviving sex work on the streets of our cities; and the holiness of the particularity of black people who hold within their bodies trans-Atlantic trauma. Baptism is not a “get out of jail free” card. It is the ticket that gets us in trouble in the first place.
Christian communities are at their best when they go to those places of deep pain and suffering, trauma and woundedness, confusion, chaos and catastrophe, bearing witness to the complexity of human experience...