"the key word is alternative"

Greenville, SC

Today we said goodbye to Luke and Sara and the kids, after almost a week with them. Yesterday was Luke's birthday, and we all helped make a magnificent carrot cake from scratch, and sat around the campfire long after dark with Sara and Heather singing folk songs. Sharing life with their family this week seemed like a gift for all of us. "This is just how it should be," Luke said at one point.

It brings to mind a theme in Brueggemann's Prophetic Imagination, about the prophetic role of "alternative" community:

The task of prophetic ministry is to nurture, nourish, and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us. Thus I suggest that prophetic ministry has to do not primarily with addressing specific public crises but with addressing, in season and out of season, the dominant crisis that is enduring and resilient, of having our alternative vocation co-opted and domesticated....

In thinking this way, the key word is alternative, and every prophetic minister and prophetic community must engage in a struggle with that notion. Thus, alternative to what? In what way alternative? How radically alternative? Finally, is there a thinkable alternative that will avoid domestication?

I've thought about that quite a bit during our rest time and will write some more about it. Now the library computer is telling me my time's up. Sara and Virginia took us with them grocery shopping and drove us quite a way down the road, so we're well supplied and only a week's walk from our next planned stop.