–Robert Mapplethorpe, Hand in Fire, 1985
There is a German expression: ich würde die Hand dafür ins Feuer legen, which means: “I would put my hand in the fire for that. Mary Beth over at RevGals challenges us to ponder, in this Friday Five, what we would put our hand in the fire for. Things / people / causes in which you believe passionately and completely? This might be demonstrated in that you would take extraordinary (for you) action…donations, marching, writing letters…or merely in the way you live your life. You may give as much or as little detail as you wish.
1. My family – husband and children. I’m the momma and I am passionate about keeping them healthy, safe, content.
2. My faith – I have been a wanderer on this faith journey. I spent some 16 years wondering how I was to live my faith life and wandering through a variety of religious traditions in search of my path. Now that I’ve found it, and been going in a more focused direction for some 20 years I find that it has not been easy. There are a number of times when my hand has been put to the fire, when I have been tested deeply.
3. Immigration and Refugee Ministry – has been a passion of mine for a number of years. I care deeply for the many people in this world who, because of war, famine, or economic strain, are living in refugee camps or at a poverty level that is shameful – shameful in a world where so much gluttony and greed exist. I’ve written about this many times. Still, I’m a novice, but with a passion.
4. Language – I care about the language we use to describe God and our faith. I am grateful to be working with a committee of the National Council of Churches Justice for Women conversation on Expansive Language. We are planning a conversation, here in Chicago, this summer, from which we hope to create a resource for churches to use from which they can frame their own conversation on language.
5. Equality – for women, men, people of color, – but mostly, women. Some studies have indicated that when women are given equal rights for education, jobs, health care, and relationship/partnerships, the well being of everyone improves. In third world nations giving women these rights pulls entire communities up to a higher quality of life. But also, when women have these rights other marginalized people are able to move toward equal rights as well.