Friday Faves! Here are mine for the week:
1) Women of Influence – I have been extraordinarily blessed all my life with the presence of women of influence. Many I have known personally. The list would be long if I wrote out the names of all those who come to mind right now. You know who you are to me. Women who, in their own ordinary lives, shake foundations and raise up all around them to a higher plane of life. Today, I want to name three women who are very very different from each other. I do not know them personally, nor do I agree with everything they say… but they have caused me to think.
- Karen Swallow Prior is an English professor, a writer, and a Christian activist. I feel like I know her through her Facebook and Twitter pages. She is as real to me as a friend would be. As brilliant and articulate as she is, I am sure we could have a conversation on difficult issues without losing each other in the process. Recently, she was hit by a city bus while walking and miraculously lived to write about it. In her forced convalescence at home over the next months, I’m thinking we will learn much from her alone time…with God and through her reflections.
- Nadia Bolz-Weber is a Lutheran minister and founder of House For All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. I discovered Nadia through a Facebook posting of her video “Forgive A**holes”. She describes the enormous good forgiveness brings, no matter our faith journey.
- Anna Deavere Smith is an actor, a dramatist, and an activist. I also discovered her through a TED Talk entitled Four American Characters. Her Notes from the Field
Photo Credit: Twitter, Anna Deavere Smith
These are very public figures. They use their renown to influence in the positive. We all know other women of influence – working in refugee camps, in the classroom, in research labs, in neighborhoods, and those aging ever so gracefully before us – who make a difference in quieter yet profound ways.
2) Incredibles 2 on Classical Guitar – When the film The Incredibles came out in 2004, our kids were all in high school. The film follows the adventures of a superhero family trying to have a normal life while subduing bad guys. 14 years later and its much-welcome sequel opens this weekend. Note I didn’t say much-anticipated, because the first film appeared to be a stand-alone after all these years.Photo Credit: Gizmodo
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3) Suicide Prevention – To go to such a dark place mentally that suicide seems the only way out must be a terrifying, deeply lonely experience. There was a time in my own life that the pressures of life mixed with emotions I couldn’t seem to control pulled me in that direction. Fortunately, nothing happened, and with God’s help and that of my family and friends (without them even knowing what was going on), the darkness broke.
We are living in an age of loneliness where social media and superficial gatherings give the facade of community, but not its reality. Truly watching out for each other and touching base, especially, with those who live more solitary lives is life-saving.
Talk Saves Lives. We can’t just assume we know what helps prevent suicide. Let’s get educated and lean in to those most vulnerable.
Resources abound. Each of us can do something to turn the tide.
Photo Credit: Twitter, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
4) Fathers – This Sunday is Father’s Day in the US. We all have had a dad in some capacity or another. The impact of their lives continues with us through ours…either steering us along the same course or moving us to take a very different one. I’ve written a bunch about fathers and fathering.
The father I never knew…I have only two memories of my own of the man who gave me half of my DNA…
I could go on…brothers who are good fathers…nephews…men in our lives who are loving fathers to other people’s kids…and our own son (and son-in-law) who are also great dads. They are easy to celebrate.
Happy Father’s Day!
5) Hard Redeemed – Anybody in our lives knows I’ve had a couple of hard weeks…those come and go, like for all of us. The ability to weather relational and situational heaviness is galvanized by those who come alongside. Including and especially God Himself who has been there for any and all who walk with Him…through the ages.
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” – Joseph – Genesis 50:20
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28
What an amazing blessing are folks who reach out – like a friend, across the ocean, whom I haven’t seen since 2002. Or the friend who gave me this upbeat life-affirming little song Dream Small.
God, help me to be that kind of friend…redeeming the hard in lives of those You place in front of me.
Have a great weekend! Peopled with those you love and those who could use your love.