The Coming Great Awakening of the Liberal Spirit

"I call that mind free which sets no bounds to its love, which, wherever they are seen, delights in virtue and sympathizes with suffering: which recognizes in all human beings the image of God and the rights of God's children, and offers itself up as a willing sacrifice to the cause of humankind."  
--William Ellery Channing

There are people that you care about their suffering; there are people you don't.  That mental line that you draw between those two groups are a bound[ary] that you set.   No one else, although all of history and society will fool you into thinking that it is a natural and unchangeable boundary, a part of the ways things are.

There is a coming great awakening of the liberal spirit.  It will come when people reconsider where they have drawn that line in their own minds, and in the hive mind of their community.  And then, they decide in that way that people decide things all at once, each and together, to move that line.

There was a time not long ago when nobody beyond those directly involved cared about the suffering of those whose love lives did not fit into the one-man-one-woman model.  It wasn't as though people were ignorant; people knew.  They did not care; because gay people were on the other side of the bound that they had set for their love.

Look how it has changed.  So many little battles, so many small symbolic actions; so much legislation; so litigation; so many difficult conversations.  There is a huge history to tell, but it was also an awakening, a great change, self-sustaining, self-replicating, self-directed.

The rapid, massive, shift in this culture around GLBTQ people is a rehearsal of what is coming: a great movement of the bounds we set on our love.  Crossing that boundary and leaving it in our rear view mirror.  Put it another way: a great awakening of the liberal spirit.

We see it gathering around the people who are undocumented.  We see it gathering about the suffering of people who lose loved ones to gun violence.  We see it gathering to the people who work hard and are still poor.  Someday, we will feel the boredom, the terror, the abandonment felt by those who are incarcerated.

There is a Holy Spirit at work.  And like the wind, we cannot see the point where it originates; nor can we see it as it passes by.  We can only feel it.  And we know it by the changes it has wrought, the evidences of which are all around us.


  1. Beautifully written. And can I add that we feel it around people who are struggling with mental illness ... and I'm sure there are others in our future about which we are not yet aware, but we need to keep ourselves open to the Spirit ...


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