Here are some articles and posts from around the web that have been especially insightful, encouraging, and challenging to me lately. I hope you enjoy them.
Rachel Jones recounts a story from her life in Djibouti about the time a baby named God came to stay at her house. As she does, she reflects on the significance of names and the meanings we associate with them. “Names tell stories, they hold histories, they convey character and belief and can be unpacked.” Her account is both penetrating and beautiful.
In her post on racism and inequality, Marilyn Gardener writes, “I grew up as a privileged, little white girl in a country [Pakistan] where people had varying shades of brown skin. It took me a long time to recognize my prejudice and even longer to be aware of my privilege.” Too often we simply don’t see it. May we be granted eyes to see and compassionate hearts to respond humbly.
Two posts by Craig Greenfield stood out to me recently. One was about our complicity in the injustice around us in which he raises some very thought provoking questions. Can we ever truly escape our participation in the unjust systems of this world? Should that even be our goal? What exactly is our motivation to do so, and is that motivation wholesome? He pointedly concludes: “I think Jesus knew that there is a certain pride in our idealism that has nothing to do with seeking better outcomes for the poor and the suffering.” That stings, but it’s also very freeing.
Craig’s other post was about how to respond to the beggars and panhandlers you encounter on the street. I think it was poignant to me because we cross paths with so many beggars regularly. (Just a few days ago a drunk woman smoking a cigarette approached me and asked me for money outside a grocery store.) In the post he offers some of the conclusions he’s reached after many years of living among and serving the poor. Also, if you subscribe to his blog, you’ll get a free e-book about Craig’s work with the poor in Cambodia, which you can download in a variety of formats, including .mobi for Kindle.
Lastly, I recently came across a photography blog called Edge of Humanity Magazine in which photographers from all over the world are featured. Each post is a collection of images of a single photographer centered on a specific theme. Recent themes have included black and white landscapes, faces of Japan, daily life in Israel, and Russian villages. The photographs are stunning.
What gripping posts have you come across recently? Please feel free to share them in the comments section below. I’d love to check them out.