This week I have three faith-in-real-life posts, one on confidence and growing old, and one on professional pros and cons of teleworking. Check them out:
1. War Photographer: Exile Fertility, a guest post by Becca over on D.L. Mayfield’s blog. This post is just the kind of thing I like to read — an honest, intentional discussion of how our faith changes the way we speak to our neighbors and our responses to injustice.
As a communicator (and who among us isn’t?) I can invite God’s baptism of mercy over my eyes. It’s the mercy that literally changes the way we see, our lenses of judgement are free to fall. When we are in Christ, it’s a whole new world. Jesus said that when our eyes are full of light rather than darkness, so is our whole body. Our words, our songs, our blogs, our conversation, when covered by mercy will still cry out for justice, will still long for God’s kingdom, will still groan with creation in agonizing labour – but we will prophesy the reconciliation of all things. Mercy will ﬁnd beauty in the face of the enemy, will welcome them to the table; mercy will kneel and wash their feet. Mercy sees our own face in those we have previously labeled: the prostitute, the soccer mom, the creepy man, the tax collector, the Muslim, the Christian, the Burmese refugee, the angry doctor, weeping mother, the rapist, the soldier, the nun.
2. Is abolition “biblical”?, a post by Rachel Held Evans. This is an important dialogue for me — it’s important as persons of faith that we [I] recognize that sometimes our faith has been used for injustice, admit the limitations and mistakes of those that have come and gone before us, and walk carefully so that we do not confuse the mandates of our faith with the customs of our generation. I’ve recommended RHE’s posts on this topic before [see Alright, then, I'll go to hell, my favorite post ever], and I’m adding Mark Noll’s The Civil War as a Theological Crisis to my reading list.
. . . I think it’s important to remind ourselves now and then that we’ve been wrong before, and that sometimes it’s not about the number of proof texts we can line up or about the most simplistic reading of the text, but rather some deep, intrinsic sense of right and wrong, some movement of the Spirit, that points us toward truth and to a better understanding of what Scripture really says.
3. Why Personal Essays are Really Important, by Kate at Eat the Damn Cake. This is a really moving and inspirational [at least for a blogger like me!] description of (a) what it is like to publish personal essays and (b) how important they are for dialogue and development. I think having this discussion is important, because bloggers have value.
When I started writing personal essays on the internet, I was half embarrassed, half proud. Even though I grew up in a generation that’s supposedly all about oversharing and facebooking and nonstop blabby social connectedness, I’d still learned that privacy is a virtue, modesty is preferable, and you shouldn’t air your dirty laundry. But I also wanted to talk about things that felt relevant but had been kept quiet. And I wanted to share those things with other women, because I had a sneaking suspicion that I might be facing some of the same challenges that girls and women all over the world deal with, even if those challenges at times felt intensely, well, personal.
4. I’d Rather Feel Old Than Feel Fat, by Lindy West at Jezebel. Isn’t getting old weirdly awesome? I mean, I’m still only 27, but isn’t 27 so much better than 24? I think it is. I am L-O-V-I-N-G being 27. Is this true for you as well?
Hating myself for being fat, when I was young, was paralyzing. Feeling terrified of getting older, at my current age, is galvanizing.
5. It’s About the Work, Not About the Office, an opinion piece by Jennifer Glass for the New York Times. I’m thinking about this a lot, as I’m working with others to set goals and save money and make employees more productive in an environment where they are losing money instead of getting promoted. Teleworking is touted by some experts as a savings-focused solution, and others as a waste of limited resources. What is your opinion on teleworking?
Regardless, employees, creative or not, get older, marry, bear children, watch their parents grow infirm, and want lives outside the workplace. And despite companies’ best efforts to replace family and simulate home life by providing cafeterias, game rooms and concierge services for dry cleaning, most people eventually learn the hard way that companies will not care for you when times are hard; they will cut your pay or forgo your 401(k) match in economic downturns, and will dispose of you when you become ill or disabled. As Robert Frost reminds us, home is the place where they have to take you in. Work is not that place.
Okay, that’s a wrap. Have a wonderful weekend and don’t forget to set your clock forward an hour on Saturday night.