In early March Sojourners hosted a daylong roundtable on faith, art, and activism. A variety of artists shared honest conversation and examples of their work-words, music, and images of beauty, truth, and provocation.
A performance at day's end by singer and musician Michelle Shocked provided a fitting benediction. Shocked fights for the causes and the music she believes in, and she brings similar passion to her Christian faith. Shocked sings like an angel-not some sweet greeting card angel, but the real deal, a window-rattling messenger of God. Her voice both digs deep and soars, a soul-shaking blend of earth, flame, thunder, and whispering wind. Shocked even managed to redeem "Kumbayah" from campfire cliche with a bluesed-out rendition that made palpable the heart's yearning for God's presence.
We bring some of the power of that day to this issue. Shocked speaks with writer Beth Isaacson about forgiveness, music, and standing for what you believe. In the "CultureWatch" section are musings on art and challenging the status quo by Washington, D.C.-based poet and actor Quique Avilés, also a roundtable participant. Civil rights veteran Rosemarie Harding was not part of the roundtable, but writes with her daughter Rachel about the role manners and music played in sustaining the black freedom movement.
In the midst of hard days, we need food for heart and soul as much as for body and mind.