The Hug

safe_image.jpgThe United States is deeply militarized. They call it security but it is official fear on a grand scale. Paranoia is formally budgeted at unprecedented levels. The small town Mayberry RFD-like police force may have high-tech tanks, night-vision goggles, automatic weapons. For what? Your neighbor across the street? Is ISIS seducing our daughters? 

Sister Dragonfly hugged a grandfatherly cop in Ferguson and six million people have witnessed the image of that hug in a rainstorm in Missouri. Dragonfly is a San Antonio and Detroit native who suffered racism traumatically. This was not a sentimental moment for her, it was heart-wrenching. She was sobbing after the encounter. But now a week later, it is clear that her famous hug with the Ferguson riot cop, one Sergeant Wood, is precisely the sort of leap out of the comfort zone that each of us must discover.

We know that this kind of flight into risky human contact is the only way to make change. The power institutions have dictated our alienation from each other. To love across the divide is an act that is discouraged by society at this point. To love is to break the rules. We feel like fools, acting alone. And so today's required courage is completely embarrassing. We are called upon to be fools for love. 

In our church shows, we always tell the audience, as we did yesterday in Boston - "Each one of us will be called upon to take our personal direct action. We will move beyond ourselves, to create something new." Dragonfly and officer Wood did that, and now each of us must do it, in duets and in symphonies of surprise love.