Life Changers – 12/12/14

December 12, 2014


The world will be saved by beauty. ~ Dostoevsky, The Idiot

Welcome to this week’s installment of Life Changers, where I collect beautiful words around the internet. I know “slacktivism”, or “clicktivism”, the idea that clicking likes on Facebook posts constitutes making change, has received its share of criticism. But I still believe in the power of words – the art of stringing thoughtful ideas together, painting a literary vision for a better future. I believe the tap, tap, tap behind screens changes hearts and minds and makes a difference. Call me a fool, but like John Green says, “the world is broken but hope is not crazy.” Here’s a basket of hope for this week:

I can’t ever read about Malala’s father not clipping her wings and not get full body chills. She is truly one of the most inspiring person of our time – a young girl who braved the bullets of the Taliban to insist on her right to education. Now, a Nobel Prize winner. Amazing.

Now is the Time to Take a Leap – Malala’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech

Dear sisters and brothers, the so-called world of adults may understand it, but we children don’t. Why is it that countries which we call “strong” are so powerful in creating wars but are so weak in bringing peace? Why is it that giving guns is so easy, but giving books is so hard? Why is it that making tanks is so easy, but building schools is so hard?

There continues to be much needed discussion on racism and justice for black lives. This piece by Caris Adel, Where White People Should Start, in response to Jen Hatmaker’s Facebook post, is an absolute MUST READ. Such a convicting reminder that an understanding of the larger context of history and embedded, systemic brokenness, is the starting place for these kinds of conversations.

The place for white people to start is the 305.896 section of the library.  Start with black poets, black fiction.  Sit with the works of James Baldwin and Toni Morrison.  Read and read and read, and wait for the dawning realization that these books don’t have happy endings.  That sometimes they don’t even resolve.  And realize what that means, why that is.

Healing conversations is not what we need.  What we need is a thorough understanding of the systemic racism that our country is founded on and that our laws continue to uphold.

I need Jesus to be Born Again – by Aiden Enns

In this season of Advent I am waiting for a saviour. A humble one who can inspire enough goodwill in us to transform our our fear and fill us with a love that opens our homes, our hearts, our domestic policies. I await a saviour who can transform our way of seeing so that as we encounter the Stranger — that is, when we encounter the one whose religion, race, class, or gender identity is not our own — may we see a common humanity and respond with hospitality and even celebration.

America is talking about torture. Brian Zahnd says You Cannot Be Christian and Support Torture

Those who argue for the use of torture do so because they are convinced it is pragmatic for national security. But Christians are not called to be pragmatists or even safe. Christians are called by Jesus to imitate a God who is kind and merciful to the wicked.

I love women who take their children to protests. I love women who can write boldly and beautifully at the same time. Therefore, I love Esther Emery, in Faith, Interrupting.

Wake up, it says, like a rhythm in my Bible. Wake up. Wake up. Wake up.

It’s so exciting when we uncover unpublished works of classic writers like C.S. Lewis. Unseen C.S. lewis letter defines his notion of joy.

Real joy seems to me almost as unlike security or prosperity as it is unlike agony,” he writes.

Beauty will save the world. Art will save the world. Comics will save the world. A New Superhero is Battling Sexual Violence in the Most Kick-Ass Way Possible. 

“The content provides a deeper understanding of the issue of sexual violence and takes the readers beyond the story of the comic book,” he said. “I was trying to figure out how to show the struggles of real survivors of rape in the comic book, and augmented reality allowed them to tell their stories in their own voices.”

So very thankful for the beauty in these voices and actions and movements to provide hope amidst a broken world. What did you find hopeful this week?