Ten for Tuesday

Some yummy randomness this week, plus stories of ordinary heroism (many of which will preach, if that’s your thing).

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1. How Wonder Woman Uses Color

I preached on Wonder Woman this past weekend, and will post that sermon soon (with audio!), but in the meantime, here’s a quick reflection on the use of color in the film:

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2. Man behind new Native license plates ‘wanted the world to right the wrongs’ before he died

Apparently this man is a former parishioner of a friend of mine. Loved this story of his quiet fight to get a license plate that honored Native peoples in his home state of Nebraska. What a wonderful salt of the earth kind of man. Thank you Stephanie for passing this along.

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3. Bruce Bartlett–Why I’m Not a Democrat

I love people who don’t fit into boxes, and former Reagan/Kemp operative Bartlett is one of those. Something for everyone here… something against everyone here too:

The Trump phenomenon is the culmination of everything I hated about the Bush-Gingrich era Republican Party that drove me out, especially the anti-intellectualism. The sum total of Trump’s agenda appears to begin and end with reversing whatever Obama did; I see no sign of a positive agenda even from a conservative point of view. The Republican Party appears to exist for the sole purpose of acquiring power in order to shower rewards on those who support the party, especially those who support it financially.

I’ve grown to hate my former party. You’d think this would make me a prime candidate for recruitment by the Democrats. But I’m not. First, no Democrat has ever reached out to me. I am not insulted by this, only surprised. And my efforts to suggest ideas to Democrats have been uniformly rebuffed. Like the Republicans, Democrats are wary of apostates and are only receptive to those born into their church, it seems.

Of much more importance in terms of my reluctance to join the Democratic Party is that the party doesn’t really seem to stand for anything other than opposition to the GOP.

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4. Roxane Gay: My Body is a Cage of My Own Making

Simply put, I cannot wait to read her latest book Hunger: A Memoir:

I avoid walking with other people as often as possible because walking and talking at the same time is a challenge. In public toilets, I manoeuvre into cubicles. I try to hover over the toilet because I don’t want it to break beneath me. No matter how small a toilet cubicle is, I avoid the disabled toilet because people like to give me dirty looks when I use that stall merely because I am fat and need more space.

My body is a cage of my own making. I have been trying to figure a way out of it for more than 20 years.

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5. Perfectionism Will Do You In

I love Parker Palmer, and poet Killian McDonnell, whom Parker quotes here. (I’ll be in Killian’s stomping grounds in a few weeks when I head back to Collegeville Minnesota for a writing fellowship!)

Perfection straineth out
the quality of mercy,
withers rapture at its
birth.

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6. Flight Attendant Saves Child from Trafficking

This is an old story that came to light in February, but I just read about it today (thank you Michael). In case it’s new to you too…

In 2011, Fredrick had been passing out drinks on a flight from Seattle to San Francisco when she spotted a girl in worn, wrinkled clothes with a bruise on her leg tucked into a window seat next to a well-dressed older man. She said she knew something was wrong.

While the man was looking over the menu, Fredrick says she made eye contact with the girl and mouthed “go to the bathroom,” where she had left a note and a pen.

The girl wrote back, “I need help.” Fredrick said she immediately called the captain, and police were waiting in the terminal when the plane arrived.

The heartbreaking part of the story is the many flight attendants who saw something amiss but didn’t know what to do, so they did nothing.

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7. Is Fat Killing You, Or Is It Sugar?

tl;dr — It’s complicated. And anyone who says it’s simple is selling you something.

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8. Six Black Women at the Center of Gravity in Theological Education–NBC News

How much do I love that this topic, and these women, are profiled on mainstream media? They make the church better, every one. Proud to know (a little bit) Dr. Margaret Aymer, the first Black woman to be named a full tenured professor at Austin Seminary:

“#BlackWomanMagic speaks both to the wonder that “we stand where the white gleam of our bright star is cast,” and to the power and effort that it has taken collectively within the African diasporic community and individually within each of these women to reach these positions.”

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9. A riptide swept away a Florida family. Then beachgoers formed a human chain.

This story of peril and rescue is absolutely riveting, and it will restore your faith in humanity.

This video includes footage from the event, as well as other times that strangers came to the rescue of others.

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10. The beauty of liturgical art

I end on a personal note. You may remember reading about my experience leading the women’s conference at Mo-Ranch last month. The conference was themed “A Durable Fabric: Frayed but not Afraid,” and the post includes a photo of me standing in front of a background with red, orange and yellow strips of fabric with messages written on them.

A wonderful artist and conference participant created a stole out of these fabrics:

I am speechless. I can’t wait for Pentecost again so I can wear it!

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What has you speechless today?

 

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