A child of activists, I am learning to embrace the spirit of protest pumping through my veins. I am no Malcolm, neither am I Martin. I am not Fannie Lou, nor am I Diane Nash. I read and write, but I am more than a scholar. I preach and teach, but that’s only part of it all. I am finding my voice as a frustrated mystic. Unsettled by the pain of the world, yet unable to remove myself from it. Humbled, I internalize and process the toxins of others as a daily prayer. In grace, I am cleansed. In the silence of the mind, I am discovering peace and protest. In the solitude of the heart, I find rest and revolution. In the frenzy of life and in the shadow of death, I sought the still moment. In it I found that God desires MORE.
I am MORE.
You are MORE.
We are MORE.
deficit thinking yields deficient results.
So, be more.
MORE to come.
I offer this reflection and poem as a call to activist-minded folk who are seeking to find their voice and discover a MORE thoughtful way of being in the world. I stress being more and not doing more for a reason. If you are, it will guide what you do. But what you do, does not predetermine who you are.
Dr. Gregory Ellison II
Dr. Ellison is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at Candler. His research examines the intersections of pastoral care, personality development, theologies of hope, and marginalized populations. His book-in-progress is a revision of his dissertation, The Unacknowledged Self: A Pastoral Theological Response to Muteness and Invisibility in African American Young Men. His current project is based on his years of counseling youth and young adults transitioning out of correctional facilities. In 2011, Dr. Ellison received the Candler Faculty Award as voted on by Candler’s student body. Professor Ellison is an ordained Baptist minister.