So, in the social justice internet circles and books I read, “comfortable” is usually a dirty word. “Comfortable” is a sign you’ve sold out, you’ve bought into the American Dream, you’re valuing your own comfort over the justice that is required for the broader community. “Comfort” is right there next to “Convenient” and these are behind all the air conditioning, global warming, pre-packaged food, slave-labour priced clothes and CEO wages that lead to inequality. Comfort is bad*.
But this week I’ve been thinking about comfort. And how necessary it is.
Don’t give up chocolate for Lent this year, said Pope Francis. Give up indifference to the poor.
“Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.”Describing this phenomenon he calls the globalization of indifference, Francis writes that “whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.” He continues that, “We end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own.” – TIME magazine
Notice your neighbor. Continue reading
Some people read my first post and were confused or hurt. I tried to address that in this post. Others of you read it and were like- “Yeah, I get this! But what can I do about it?”
I’ve tried to gather together some resources and some things I’ve learned about racial reconciliation into one post. This is especially targeted at white people. Most of these are things I’ve learned from other smarter, more seasoned people of color. Hopefully you’ll click on links and read their words yourself! 🙂 And please share ideas below of things you are doing (or wish could be done!)
Surveys show that one of the reasons millennial are leaving the evangelical church is that they perceive it to be too political. I relate to this (probably because I grew up in another country, and seeing American flags on the front stage of churches is just still very odd to me). The evangelical church has been associated with the conservative Republicans since the 80’s when some guys realized there was a huge sector of society that was uninterested in politics, but if energized, could be a significant political force. Continue reading
I’ve been reading the book of Luke lately. In Luke Jesus does lots of cool things, and he tells these things called parables to the crowds who follow him. It made me want to write some of my own. These stories are made up. Don’t take them too seriously.
Jesus went with his disciples to the city, with a great crowd following him. A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the city gates. The boy, who had been shot and killed by a police officer, was the only son of a widow and many mourners from all over the city were with her. Continue reading
In Christian communities (churches, missionary groups etc) there often springs up this debate about whether we should be putting funds and resources towards social justice issues or towards evangelism. Here’s how the debate goes, for those of you who aren’t privy to Christian internal disputes. Continue reading
Author Julia Alvarez, who escaped the dictatorship in the Dominican Republic and came to America when she was ten years old, has said:
“I would go as far as to say that by reading books, entering other realities, and then taking those adventures back into our own lives, we are freedom fighters. One of the first things that happens in a dictatorship is that books are confiscated, people are not permitted to congregate and share ideas and stories… I know because I lived that reality in a dictatorship. You know it because you have lived that reality in the novel I have written or in other novels you have read about similar situations.”
The English major in me likes this idea. I wrote an essay my senior year about impoverished imaginations being the root of conflict and injustice, and if we read more stories, we would be come more human- humane. I like the idea that even though I’ve never lived under a dictatorship by reading and listening, really listening, to her story, I can understand something about the world, and humanity, and injustice. Continue reading
Cambodia: from IJM’s website
Actually, this post is not going to outright answer whether you should take your five year old to an anti-sex-trafficking rally, but it is going to try and look at the underlying assumption: how sheltered should I keep my children? Should I be telling them about the harsh realities of life- slavery, racism, crime, war, rape, tsunamis ? Or, should I preserve the safe innocence of childhood as long as possible? Continue reading
We are all gathered in a small chapel for our normal good Friday service, the candles are lit, the incense is ready, but then Ta-Nahesi Coates stands up in the middle of the service, faces the congregation, and begins to speak:
“When a black man dies, everyone wants to talk about forgiving the killer.They want to weave his death into some kind of higher meaning, some purpose. But I don’t believe in God. I believe in bodies. When I sat in the church Prince’s funeral, my black friend who was rich, well educated, whose mother had groomed him for Yale, when I sat there I couldn’t see a higher purpose in his death. Continue reading
Recently this humorous advertisement for a clothing store popped up in my newsfeed. It’s referencing the very “tidying up” method I talked about in my last stuff post. Ironically, it’s talking all about getting rid of things, spring cleaning and minimizing– while advertising a clothing brand. We’re so weird in America. We can sell more clothes while talking about downsizing and getting rid of clothes. Continue reading