Saturday, March 07, 2015

Spring, Malcolm Boyd & Selma

The rue-anemones aren't blooming in the woods quite yet (this photo was taken on April 26 last year along a Red Haw trail). But it is 37 degrees this morning with highs in the 50s and 60s predicted for the next few days. And tonight's the night to turn clocks ahead an hour as daylight saving time begins.

So spring will come, even though on some days in the depths of winter that possibility seems remote.


The Rev. Canon Malcolm Boyd --- Episcopal priest, civil rights activist, peace activist, gay rights activist and gay himself --- died a week ago in Los Angeles at age 91. So it has seemed a good week for his morning prayer, more famously the title of what remains his best-known book:

"It’s morning, Jesus.  It’s morning, and here’s that light and sound all over again.

"I’ve got to move fast . . . get into the bathroom, wash up, grab a bite to eat and run some more.

"I just don’t feel like it, Lord.  What I really want to do is get back into bed, pull up the covers, and sleep.  All I seem to want today is the big sleep, and here I’ve got to run all over again.

"Where am I running?  You know these things I can’t understand.  It’s not that I need to have you tell me.  What counts most is just that somebody knows, and it’s you.  That helps a lot.

"So I’ll follow along okay?  But lead, Lord.  Now I’ve got to run.  Are you running with me, Jesus?"

Boyd and others of that distant time emerged to make it seem for a time as if the church of white folks might be made relevant and a positive force in the endless quest for justice, most notably then for black brothers and sisters.


Boyd was among those who ran with Jesus to Alabama during 1965, participating with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the pivotal march from Selma to Montgomery.

He was not there for Bloody Sunday, commemorated today --- 50th anniversary of the day on which some 600 civil rights marchers were driven off the Edmund Pettus Bridge by state troopers and deputies, some on horseback, using billy clubs and tear gas. But was there a couple of weeks later when the march resumed.

All of this was pivotal, of course, in passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.


In light of all this, it has seemed bizarre during the past few weeks to watch Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore standing in the door and doing his best to block marriage equality, using some of the same tactics, language and body language favored by his predecessors. Old habits die hard in Alabama, but die they will.

And spring will come.

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