Five things to pay attention to

I am a fan of regular lists of what other people are doing/thinking/reading/watching/hearing. Every Friday when The Mennonite publishes their Friday Roundup, I click and read. They have a rotation of persons who submit lists, and it is a good variety of people. I usually find several things in the list I want to look into further.

Anyway, I have been paying attention to a lot of stuff, and thought I'd pass on a list just for fun.

Image result for altar in the world1. Altar In the World, by Barbara Brown Taylor.
This book is encouraging me to be aware of opportunities for worship throughout my daily life, in the ways I pause to see and hear what is around me, the ways I do both important and menial tasks, how I say yes or no to requests, and more.

I've noticed that I carry significantly more anxiety than I did before Chuck's injury, and the choice to pause, to notice, to do my tasks as an act of worship, all are ways of bringing my attention back to real and true things.

Born a Crime (for Rent) by Noah, Trevor 9780399588174 textbook
2. Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah. 
For a while now I've chosen to read authors of color at least half the time. It is a discipline I recommend. This is the last memoir I finished. Trevor Noah is famous for his comedy and his talk show hosting. This book tells the story of his life before fame. There is strong language, and there are hard stories. There is also deep love. The undercurrent of the faith of Trevor's mother comes up throughout the book and I found much to think about, both in regard to faith, and more obviously in regard to the ways people have found to disenfranchise groups in order to benefit themselves, and lastly, in the strength of people to survive in the face of systemic injustice.

 3. Cicadas, Sunflowers, and the season. 
I'm realizing that with the season changing, soon I will not be hearing cicadas during the daylight hours and frogs all night for much longer. The wild sunflowers are in full bloom right now. The moon was half full last night and rises about an hour later each night, so that beautiful moonlight is increasing. The days are shortening and I'm more likely to be awake at sunrise as well as sunset. It's time to savor what is now, before it is gone.
4. Small gifts.
I got a text today with a Grandparents' Day message from one of our grandchildren. That was only one of several reminders this week that a small note or gift does not take long, but goes a long way. Send something nice to someone you care about.

5. Respond. 
On days that seem to be more anxious for me, world news is overwhelming.  I don't seem to be able to turn it off. To some degree I feel a sense of responsibility to not disengage. I don't have answers to solving the problems of the world, but not responding doesn't really seem like an option. It sometimes helps to do something. What is the problem that catches at your thoughts this week? Immigration? Climate change? Violence? Is there some way to add your resources to a response? Maybe an MCC kit or donation?


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