I have often found myself out on the fringe, out of step with those around me, almost subversive in my thoughts and actions. Not subversive in a negative way, understand, but subversive in the ways of justice and peace. I am grateful that I have a sensitive spirit that feels compassion for those who are what we might call “the outcasts.” I am grateful that God gave me the gift of empathy.
But with gifts, there are always responsibilities. It is not enough just to feel empathy. I must act on it, advocating for those who need an advocate, or as Jesus might say, “seeking justice for the oppressed.”
Doing so might very well put me out on the fringe. Steven Charleston describes it like this:
I would like to say a brief word in support of the lunatic fringe. I have been a card carrying “fringer” for quite some time now, out here on the margins of polite society where the really interesting people hang out. I have met wild eyed dreamers, optimistic visionaries, unrepentant seekers, and more than a few average folks who just like to think for themselves. Out here there are no party lines to follow, no castes or outcasts, no gated communities of the heart. There are only envelopes being pushed, barriers being broken, and love being risked as love always is. I just want to say: I am glad to have you out here with me.
I hope I will always be out on the fringe pushing the envelope!