Monday, August 18, 2014

Raise Up In Me a Moderate Enthusiasm, Oh God


The other day I sent out a Tweet--not something I do often: I seem to be becoming political. Dammit.

That's also the story of Jen Hatmaker's recently-revised book Interrupted. I follow her blog, though I can't remember exactly how I found it. There was a time when I was "looking" for my new book, the one that became The War That Saved My Life, and I read a lot of blogs, and hers was one that stuck with me, primarily because she's dead honest without a lot of woo-woo.  (Read her post on the end of the school year. Funniest. Post. Ever.)

Anyhow, you can tell it's Monday morning by the amount of digression. (Which, when you think of it, is yet another digression.) I realized lately that I'm on the way to becoming an activist, and I can't tell you how much I hate that. It's a lot more comfortable on my farm, with my animals, thinking happy thoughts. I can even think nice religious thoughts, thanking God for the many blessings in my life. Except there's a flip side to both religion and happiness. There's a point where you start remembering the Bible verses on poverty or social justice, and you start getting pushed out of your comfortable little shell. It's not fun. But it's good. And while I pretty much hate all politicians--I'm a fiscal conservative with liberal social leanings and a woman with a brain in my head, which pretty much rules out liking any of them--I suddenly seem to care about social issues. I want a bigger minimum wage. Civil rights for LGBTQs. Racial justice. A global economy where my affluence didn't rest on the backs of developing-world laborers that make less than a dollar a day. I buy free-trade organic chocolate now, and I could tell you why.

Jen's book Interrupted tells a similar, if much more life-altering story. Her husband was a pastor at one of those big mega-churches down in Texas, they had sweet children and a nice life, and suddenly God asked Jen just what she thought she was doing, "blessing the blessed" while every day thousands of children starved. It led to revolution.

Jen's prayer, "Raise up in me a holy Passion," is honestly a bit hot for me. I'd like "raise up in me a moderate enthusiasm," perhaps, or, "Raise up in me the chance to do a bit of good and feel smug while returning to my comfortable life." I don't know, though. I'm afraid, especially after last week, that I might be stuck.

Meanwhile. here's a link to a cool watercolor image of that quote. I'm also giving away a copy of Interrupted at random to a person who comments on this blog. Warning: it may mess you up. Or maybe God already has.