movement madness

A little while back, I mused my frustrations in this blogpost about the fashion of movements these days.

I rambled on about the ultra distracted, rarely committed, highly energized generation we seem to have become. Our obsession with trends, revolution, and being a part of something “bigger than ourselves” with buzzwords like “countercultural” is a thin veneer. Sometimes, the “make a difference” slogans and painted posters in picket lines advertise self-promotion instead of a cause. We are deathly afraid our lives won’t matter, so we join the loudest crowd, learn their clever chants, and march in their lines, hoping our existence will amount to something.

It scares me to think about what will happen when the fad passes… when it is less trendy to identify with the broken and hurting in our world…

When we realize the $80 shoes aren’t that cute and we’ll never meet those barefoot kids. When we realize how awkward it is to wear a shirt that has the words “sex” and “trafficking” in bold letters.
When we realize the chants we are shouting actually require us to buy less, have less, and give more.
What happens then?

I’m not always this cynical, but I want to ask these questions of myself and our generation because I am concerned. I’m not worried. I believe the Creator of the universe has a plan to restore all of creation and that plan cannot fail.

I am concerned because we are given a very clear, very serious command to respond (not just with angry outbursts and clever marketing) in a very human way to the needs we see in this world (Isaiah 58).

I hope we can understand that at the end of the day, after all the cause-claiming blogs have been written and all the cause-supporting merchandise has been sent, that caring for the broken, the hurting, and the needy in this world is first and foremost a human responsibility. We can give up on t-shirts and recycled bags or move on to the next fad, but let us not lose sight of what is most important…

If the roots of our motivation reach deeper than trends to the rich soil of God’s heart, we will see that responding to the needs of the broken is not a cause…

it’s a lifestyle.

Just so you know I can be optimistic, too, here are some links that I think encourage the right kind of movement:
Love in Stereo
Nomi Network
Dalit Freedom Network
Gospel for Asia
International Justice Mission
Strategic World Impact

falling, falling, falling

I have a history (see fright story 1 and fright story 2).

Before you ask about a traumatic encounter I had as a small child, I am completely unaware how this dreadful thing started. All I know is, surprises often find me on the floor or grabbing the nearest arm.

I’ve become pretty good at recovering from these episodes. Unfortunately, the stories keep piling up! The only good thing to come out of this fright syndrome is that I have crazy good material to make people feel better about their follies. I love to see people walk away saying, “I might be embarrassing, but HER stories make mine look like nothing!!”

So… with that, I’ll give you some material to refer back to the next time you feel foolish.

Location: Office
Cause: 7th grade student, Ricardo
Story: I’m not sure why, but I arranged my office so my desk and I face the wall opposite the open door. So, when students or staff come in quietly, I am unaware. It just so happens that Ricardo is a very wonderful and mischievous 7th grade boy who had not been informed of my response to surprises. Last week, as I worked away at my desk, Ricardo slipped in and gave a shout directly behind my chair. With the scream of an adolescent girl, I jumped and promptly fell off my chair, grasping the edge of my desk as I went. The worst part is the few moments following, when I realized the entire hallway had heard and several classes wondered who had just seen a ghost. SO embarrassing to have the guidance counselor be (rightly) the one to blame for such an interruption!

Location: Micah Project
Cause: Nelson slammed a door or dropped a chair, I’m not sure which
Story: This past Sunday, I was spending some fellowship time at the Micah house… and by fellowship, I mean, ducking from flying soccer balls and rough-housing with the boys who behave like wild brothers. So, we were fellowshipping and I had turned my back for one second from Nelson when I heard the most surprising BANG and my hand shot out, uncontrolled, toward Kristi who happened to be right in front of me. I grabbed her arm and scattered my feet until I regained my composure and then hid my head in her shoulder… Ah! The worst weakness to show a bunch of adolescent boys is that you scare easily! They wouldn’t let me leave without making me jump a hundred more times!

Location: Victoria’s house
Cause: this time I’ll blame it on the dark and the cowboy boots I love
Story: I had just spent some wonderful time hanging out with Victoria, a senior who has a special place in my heart, and her new puppy Milo. The cowboy boots were a gift from my mom this summer, anticipating the birthday in October when I’ll be here. It’s amazing how boots can make such an impression – it pretty much carried my smile all day long, straight up until I was walking out her front door. It was dark and we were talking… and then next thing I knew I was floating backwards through the air and onto my back in the grass. Slow and fast quite together explain the descent, but once I was there comfortably situated in the soft grass, I realized how silly it must all look to the guard who stood a few feet away! Victoria could barely pull herself together to help me up, she was laughing so hard. So, I lay there in my green cotton dress and cowboy boots, looking helpless and embarrassed as red punch. When I finally got up, I said, “Victoria! Oh my gosh, you can’t tell anyone that I just did that!” but, moments later I followed, “uh… just kidding, I’m sure I’ll tell everyone tomorrow!”

And, so I did!

Especially today, don’t forget to

let LOVE FLY like cRaZY