Friday, April 4, 2014

The Friday Four, Part 60


Photo courtesy robin beck via flickr
Yesterday, a friend pointed me to this beautiful poem by Mary Oliver:

"Wild Geese"

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.


Almost a year ago, I wrote this post expressing my frustration with those who take scripture verses out of context, losing or twisting the meaning to fit their purposes.  This week I stumbled on this post with five excellent examples of biblical verses that are often "Twitterized" as the writer calls it:

Christians read (and quote) Scripture in tiny, artificial fragments all the time. And by doing so, do we alter the meaning without even realizing it...If I’m free to ignore the larger context, then it becomes easier to read the Bible like a narcissist. Suddenly, Jeremiah 29:11 is all about me, not some long dead exiles in Babylon. Philippians 4:13 is about my personal achievements, not the hope that sustained Paul in a dank prison cell.
The thing is, the Bible is not all about me. It wasn’t even written to me. And ironically, if I’m going to get whatever it has for me, I need to start reading it with that in mind.
Context, my friends.  Context!


I love the approach Betabrand has taken to advertising their clothing this spring.  Instead of hiring professional fashion models, they worked through their employee's network of friends and family to find real women who either had or were in the process of earning their doctorate degrees. Take a look!

Granted, none of these women are what society would call ugly or disproportionate, but I appreciate that Betabrand took an aspect of their business that is usually entirely focused on visual appearance and made it a little deeper, a little bit more about the women *in* the clothes rather than the clothes on the women.


The General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is this weekend.  I thoroughly enjoy the benefits of church-on-TV-or-via-internet these two weekends a year.  I can stay in my pajamas (or other comfy clothes) and get my weekly spiritual nourishment from a screen!  The General Women's Meeting last weekend was a good start - President Bonnie Oscarson's talk was particularly awesome. I love that she quoted so many women in her talk and called for greater love and compassion:
Sister Patricia T. Holland once said, “The point is, we simply cannot call ourselves Christian and continue to judge one another—or ourselves—so harshly.” She goes on to say that there is nothing that is worth us losing our compassion and sisterhood over. We just need to relax and rejoice in our divine differences. We need to realize that we all desire to serve in the kingdom, using our unique talents and gifts in our own ways...
If there are barriers, it is because we ourselves have created them. We must stop concentrating on our differences and look for what we have in common; then we can begin to realize our greatest potential and achieve the greatest good in this world.
Ok, so I added that italicized emphasis there.  "There is nothing that is worth us losing our compassion and sisterhood over."  Nothing.

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