What the world can’t take away

Photo by Tyler Nix from unsplash.com Photo by Tyler Nix from unsplash.com

Recently a newsletter I subscribe to passed along a video by the Resistance Revival Chorus. They sing “This Joy.” As a group, the Resistance Revival Chorus defines themselves partly as “musicians exploring activism and activists exploring music.”

Their music inspires holding joy at the center of challenging work. Foundational to their collective is poet Toi Derricotte’s words of “Joy Is an Act of Resistance.” In the best version of the song, they sing:

This joy that I have, the world

didn’t give it to me.

This strength that I have, the world

didn’t give it to me.

This love that I have, the world didn’t

give it to me.

This pride that I have, the world didn’t

give it to me.

This peace that I have, the world didn’t

give it to me.

The world didn’t give it, the world

can’t take it away.

If you haven’t listened to them in a while or ever, go watch and listen. I found myself listening on repeat. In a way I wasn’t aware of, I needed their voices to remind me that what this world didn’t give, it cannot take away.

In What Is an Anabaptist Christian? Palmer Becker wrote, “Jesus is the center of our faith. Community is the center of our life. Reconciliation is the center of our work.” Our community, and the love and support we provide one another, is one of the many things the world cannot take away. Even now as our lives have needed to shift to keep each other healthy and safe, we are finding new ways to connect.

Community work can sometimes   be thought of as a warm fuzzy experience, an easy connection. I don’t mean to reduce our community to that, because I believe community is challenging. And I find the work of reconciliation and justice to be directly connected to how we are able to create and maintain community.

In this issue you’ll read of instances of great community and calls to justice work. They are stories of action and of failure to act. Here at AW, we hope that what you read and see on our pages inspires you to the difficult work that brings true and just community. May you be able to hold joy even under the heavy loads of the day and rest in the knowledge that what the world didn’t give it cannot take away.


P.S. We continue to hear that delivery of the magazine has been frustratingly slow for some readers. The U.S. Postal Service cites “unprecedented volume increases and limited employee availability due to the impacts of COVID-19.” We’re adding a note at the bottom of this page indicating the date we mailed. If you miss an issue, please call or email the Newton, Kan., office, and we’ll send a replacement.

Danielle Klotz

Danielle Klotz is executive director of Anabaptist World. Read More

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