"Zero" Waste?

"Zero" Waste?

I am shifting away from using the phrase “zero-waste” exclusively because the more I venture toward a holistically integrated life of love the more I realize how “zero” waste is impossible.

Zero-Waste as a movement is a powerful instrument of good. The movement invites and challenges folks to reconsider mainline consumerism as the only way of living. Specifically, Zero-Wasters want to empower folks to put down the fiscally cheap, but environmentally costly plastic and invest in the well-being of the whole earth community. Instead of only Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, we want to live into the truth as nature tells it: there is no away.

Creation in its natural state does not make waste—every single molecule of matter is, rather, transformed from one useful state to the next in order create and sustain more diverse and varied forms of life.

Poop, for instance, is not a toxic problem in nature. Instead it is a biofuel and a fertilizer. Notice the language there—what first-world people have been conditioned to consider the epitome of “waste,” nature sees and names Nourishment and Fertility.

When God Sings: Beth Moore and the Brood of Vipers

When God Sings: Beth Moore and the Brood of Vipers

It is not every day that a conservative evangelical gets my attention. This week one such person did. Author and speaker Beth Moore wrote all of social media…

And great rejoicing ensued.

If Beth Moore is radicalizing—“rooting” in the embodied, incarnational love of God—then perhaps there is hope for the rest of us white, well-to-do people of faith.

We are probably the most difficult to reach.

Our ears are so stopped with comfort and luxury; it is easy to forget the naked and hungry.

Our shoulders are so heavy with the expectation to perform, achieve, and get ahead; it is hard to distinguish between the cultural, shame-induced patterns of white upper-middle class church folk and the radically nuanced gospel that is really worth of our lives.

Beth Moore sounds like John the Baptist to me this week.

When Temps Rise, Our Thermostat Does Too

When Temps Rise, Our Thermostat Does Too

As I sit here and type the outside thermometer reads 93 degrees and the indoor…74.

Actually the thermostat is currently set to 78 degrees because as I did more research for this blogpost, I (re)learned that the official Energy.gov recommendation for daily AC use in the summer is 78 degrees. Fahrenheit. Yes, you read that correctly.

For the past month Aaron and I have been enjoying a balmy 74 degrees indoors with only a little complaining, mostly from me at night. His encouragement kept us on track, however, and here we are sort of willing to punch the thermostat up a few more degrees.

Maybe you’re wondering (as I was last night) why the heck our thermostat climbs with the summer temperature. Well, I’ll blame it on the pope.  

Water, Water

Water, Water

One of the first songs I learned in Ms. Stroud’s high school chorus was Mayim, Mayim—Water, Water. It is an upbeat Jewish children’s song and folk dance that draws its lyrics from Isaiah 12:3. 

The lilting, mysterious tune lured me, as did the challenge of a language different than my own. I tasted the Hebrew words phrase by phrase and imagined what they might have meant for a once wilderness-wandering and exiled people. I learned Mayim, Mayim by heart. I memorized somewhat out of survival (Hebrew transliterations are not easy to read in measure), but mostly because it was beautiful.

I can sing it even today, and I have been. Except my hums and whispered solos have not been in celebration. They have not even been on purpose. No, the recent events in Flint, Michigan brought Mayim, Mayim to me in deep waves of lament and prayer.