In Anne Frank, the world remembers a light of courage, even hope — a girl who lived and loved and laughed in the face of immense terror.
People mill about the magazine rack near my cozy chair at Barnes & Noble. In between chapters, I send them silent love bombs. I hope, somehow, their day is brightened, that they will feel unexpected relief. I especially focus on the grumpier sorts, or the two loud women, or the dude who smells of cigarette smoke, or the crying child and angry mum (my personal fave).
On the other side of the rack, a scrawny pair of corduroy legs with a metal cane catches my eye. I feel . . . a bond. For years, I was convinced that my dwarfed, arthritic body could only bring me rejection and pain. Eventually, Iʼd realized Iʼd adopted those practices toward myself. Ouch. I wonder if the tired corduroys have done the same.
Silently, I begin the “Prayer of Thy Healing Angels” from Lorna Byrne. I started this habit a while ago when I realized how disconnected I felt from the world. Iʼd reserved my energy for a small circle of friends and family. But there was suffering all around and I felt powerless to help. I was not particularly philanthropic. Activists made me squirm.
Years of soul-searching, though, left me with a deeper compassion for myself and so a growing empathy for others. Even the chowderheads. The very least I could do was send them light.
Iʼd thought my love bombs would be altruistic. Then a weird thing happened. It was helping me. Comforting me.
As countless men grow mustaches this month to raise money and awareness for men's health issues, women and girls of all ages have put away their blush and mascara, seeking to remember they are beautifully made by God — even without the makeup.
"I think a lot of times we get so caught up in 'God made the world and the trees and the beauty and nature' and we see God's handiwork in the leaves changing in the fall, or we see his handiwork at the beach," said Becca Daniel, team leader at Rave Ministries.
"What we forget is we're told in all those other Scriptures that God made us, down to the last detail too."
Women and girls from 37 states and seven countries are participating in "No Makeup November," which is coordinated by Rave Ministries, a Christian girls ministry associated with the Churches of Christ.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Has it not been told you from the foundations of the earth? You shall have a song and gladness of heart.
Or something like that.
I have been talking to a friend lately about the nature of achievement. We have been talking about money and art and what it means to care for oneself and the concept that human beings deserve to be happy. Or, more accurately, deserve to get what they want. Being happy and getting what you want are not always the same thing. Of course, you knew that already.
The last Terrence Malick film I went to see was Tree of Life, in which the critically acclaimed director — and devout Christian — advised audiences to “experience [the film] like a walk in the countryside. You’ll probably be bored or have other things in mind, but perhaps you will be struck, suddenly, by a feeling, by an act, by a unique portrait of nature.” Needless to say, the film was long — extremely beautiful, but a wee bit slow.
So you can imagine the shock I felt when Malick’s latest film, To the Wonder, abruptly ended after almost two hours and I thought to myself, “Wait, it’s already over?”
To the Wonder is certainly different from its immediate predecessor in Malick’s catalogue — there aren’t any dinosaurs in his latest effort. But it does still manage to have both the look and feel of a Malick film (i.e., it intersperses a linear story with lots of fluid, beautiful cinematography shot during “magic hour” with voice overs asking deep questions), albeit one that doesn’t drift off into long montages of the creation of the universe with voiceovers almost lifted from the book of Job.
We were walking up the beach, on the sand as the tide moved out toward the ocean. I was holding Zeke's hand, talking with him about sea things. "I didn't know jellyfish swam this close to the shore during the spring," he said in 5-year-old wonderment. "I bet that drift wood is as old as The Old Man and the Sea. I think a horseshoe crab's blood can be used to treat cancer."
"Look," I said.
"What is it, Dad?" he asked.
I picked up a shell out of the deep, hot sand and held it in my open hand.
It's Thursday. I'm hitting the back of my closet and have second-day hair. Relate? Good, then this video is for you.
Take a few minutes to remember that our differences — whether it be crooked smiles, frizzy hair, or 6-foot-frame — to others look like character, enviable natural curls, or modelesque stature. You're beautiful. (Yes, you.)
The clip is also full of good advice, but my personal favorite: "If it makes you feel awesome, wear it." (Do you think that means I can get away with yoga pants at work?)
In a new photo series called “A World Journey,” photographer Jim Stipe documents the people that have made an impact on his travels. Particularly in low income countries, Jim exposes the faces and lives that have meant something to him as he journeyed through foreign lands.
On the first slide of his new series, his statement reads:
“I’ve had the privilege of traveling to many countries around the world, sometimes for fun, other times for photo assignments, almost always in low-income countries. Time and again what strikes me most is the strength and dignity of people who often suffer great hardship. This small collection of photos gives you a glimpse of the amazing people I’ve met.”
Take a minute to reflect on some remarkable, beautiful images of the world’s people.
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40 Ideas for Keeping a Holy Lent from House for All Sinners and Saints, the Denver congregation Nadia serves.
Day 1: Pray for your enemies
Day 2: Walk, carpool, bike or bus it.
Day 3: Don’t turn on the car radio
Day 4: Give $20 to a non-profit of your choosing
Day 5: Take 5 minutes of silence at noon
Day 6: Look out the window until you find something of beauty you had not noticed before
"I have found great beauty in religion and religion has shown me great beauty in myself and in the world," Tripp says, as he reflects on the 11 years since he's had a drink. "I'm still not sure I know what being beloved means. Somehow we forget that we are beloved....Today is the 11th anniversary of the day I was told who I was. It's a good day."