Is Small Always Beautiful?

indexBy Will O’Brien

A few years ago I was visiting good friends at an intentional Christian community in a large city.  This was a community I dearly loved: For many years, persons from privileged backgrounds, following Jesus’ call, had served, lived with, and developed ministries with the folks who lived on the streets of that city.  They engaged in powerful and creative prophetic witness to the compassion and justice of God, insisting on a commitment to struggle with society’s most marginalized persons.  These good saints had taught me, inspired me, challenged me, and emboldened my faith in countless ways. Continue reading

The Woman Who Built a Soulmaking Room

 

Jester_Risher

John August Swanson’s image “The Jester” seems to capture the story of the Shunammite woman who builds a room for the holy. Support more of John’s incredible art and revolutionary vision (in affordable cards, prints) at http://johnaugustswanson.com/.

By Dee Dee Risher. Part of the continuing series on biblical women.

The Bible comes to us out of a patriarchal culture. At the same time, I believe firmly that the hand of the Spirit of God shaped what was recorded, however troubling or puzzling; however these recordings may reflect the dynamics of oppression in this world rather than the creative liberation I feel is core to the reign of God. I hold these two realities in tension.

Because of this conviction, I pay constant attention to the stories of women who do break into Scripture. Most of them are, predictably, relegated to the margins. They can appear sidekicks to the “real” stories of the (male) prophets, kings, patriarchs, warriors, and holy men. Yet hidden precisely within these “narratives of the margins” are the rankling questions that upset the power structures and interrogate our assumptions about God. Continue reading