RevGals Friday: Hand in Fire Edition

–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.


About Terri C Pilarski

I am an Episcopal priest serving a delightfully progressive, interesting, creative congregation. I have been married more than half my life to the same man. We have two grown children, plus two dogs and two cats, although the number of four legged household members changes from time to time. I love to garden, knit, read, and play on Facebook or with my blog. I have been a practitioner of daily meditation since I was nineteen. I practice yoga five days a week and walk every where I am able too.
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8 Responses to RevGals Friday: Hand in Fire Edition

  1. Mary Beth says:

    Great list, and I'm especially excited about #4. I'm eager to hear how this goes and to see the resource you will create.

  2. angela says:

    I love all your passions described. #3 really convicts me b/c I want to teach English as a second language and need to learn another language completely to do it. I had thought it would be Chinese…

  3. What an interesting list. I too am interested in the language issue. We often time don't realize how our words impact others, because of prejudices we don't even realize. The paternalistic nature of the Bible is particularly guilty. We need always to develop welcoming words about God.

  4. altar ego says:

    Excellent choices. When I first language I was thinking about spelling/grammar, etc., LOL! Your own reference is more noble. Equality is a great choice.

  5. You're getting closer to how I feel. I couldn't answer this morning because-Jeez-hand in the fire. That's a pretty big commitment. But your answers nicely put for a crispy hand.

  6. Robin says:

    I'm going to love hearing about the Expansive Language project.

  7. Mavis says:

    Love your passion. I could have added 'church song language' to my list – although unlike you I really haven't taken much action – I just complain week after week. You've inspired me to be a bit more constructive. Thanks

  8. Jan says:

    Wonderful list. Passion, of course.

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