Interrupted by the headlines {+giveaway}

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When I began blogging eight years ago, the internet world was not

so noisy.

I started this blog for two purposes,

to have a place for my writing

and to encourage others.

As the years rolled by I made it a point that this space would be

quiet and perhaps even restful.

I vowed not  to succumb to the allure of using buzz words or whatever was trending

to attract attention.

However this summer in particular has made it difficult to not pen anything

related to all the headlines, news crawls and social media feeds.

The topics range from the Middle East, Ebola, Robin Williams, depression,

mental illness, Parkinson’s, #Ferguson and even ice buckets for ALS.

These are only a mass of letters forming words which can’t adequately

uncover the depth of wounds inflicted intentionally and often ruthlessly

on the innocent.

No longer can we believe “it is over there, faraway” because now

the “it” is residing closer to home and often sitting in the next seat.

For each elevated headline, I am convinced there are hundreds

of unnoticed headlines further revealing our broken world.

We are broken by so many other words like hate, racism, fear,

violence, disease and apathy.

I am not a news junkie and sometimes I am grateful

because even a casual glimpse

into this world in which we live in can be utterly devastating.

I have felt powerless to make even one difference in any of these headlines.

I walked through doors and along sidewalks last week and for some reason

felt more acutely aware of my skin color.

I don’t normally lead with how I look but last week,

I wondered how I was perceived in light of

recent events.

How do I view others different from myself for that matter?

I feel a bit more shaken as I have a son,

a husband,

a brother,

a father,

uncles and cousins.

Slowly I have whispered checkmate to my fears with

the only remedy I know will cast away its presence.

It’s called love.

Anger kills whereas love embraces life.

Fear picks up weapons whereas love seeks to mend the broken.

Love chooses to value and bestow dignity around the shoulders of those

who are homeless,

addicted,

poor,

ill,

oppressed

and without a voice.

Love isn’t blind to injustice or

deaf to the laments of the people,

it simply demands a better way.

Love sees beyond categories and labels

and declares,

no matter your state or station in life,

you matter.

Behind the ink and paper of headlines are real people

who matter tremendously.

I recently had the opportunity to read Jen Hatmaker’s book Interrupted.

It is newly revised, updated and expanded since its initial release in 2009.

To be honest, I didn’t really want to read it anything that would make me

anymore uncomfortable than I already was with the steamy weather.

But my friend Susan had tagged me in a Facebook post encouraging

me to review the book and I am an obedient friend (at times).

I read Interrupted in the course of 3 short sittings and

yep, it made me uncomfortable

but it couldn’t be a more important book

for the current conditions of our world.

It’s a wake-up call for individuals as well as the Church

to abandon hiding behind the confines of walls

and instead fling open doors to a world bent on

inflicting violence and forsaking peace.

 

We clearly don’t comprehend how personally Jesus
takes it when we love suffering people.
He is so utterly identified with the afflicted that there
is nothing more obedient, more pleasing, more central
than serving Him in the marginalized.
-pg. 100

We have the privilege of serving Jesus Himself every
time we feed a hungry belly, each moment we give dignity
to someone who has none left, when we acknowledge
the value of a convict because he is a human being,
when we share our extreme excess with those who have 

nothing, when we love the forsaken and remember the 
forgotten.
Jesus is there.
-pg. 101

So what is the next right thing to do?

I cling to Mother Teresa’s words, to the fervor in which

Jen wrote and will continue taking footsteps of love

as my marching orders reignited.

I must display love to those who cross my path

and to those who will never intersect with mine.

As differently as I felt in my skin,

I am sure each one

of us feels more acutely aware of our shared outrage,

pleas and tears.

As simplistic as it may sound,

love is the only way I see towards change,

the changing of hearts and mindsets.

I would encourage you to read Interrupted.

It is written in a non-threatening conversational style and chronicles

how the Hatmaker family was interrupted and upended

by a new holy passion to live in

service to the last,

the least,

the forgotten and

the forsaken.

You can order the book here and here.

You can read Jen’s hilarious and insightful blog here.

I am numbered with 250 bloggers who are spreading the word about

Interrupted and Tyndale has graciously given each of us a copy to

give away.

Leave me a comment in the section below about anything little

thing your heart desires and I will pick a winner on Wednesday.

I don’t have great answers today only

to go forth and love greatly.

Love truly is a holy passion.

 

 

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13 thoughts on “Interrupted by the headlines {+giveaway}

  1. Felicia says:

    I spent the weekend with a group of friends discussing how we can be useful in our troubled world. I will forward this blog because my friends will certainly learn from “Interrupted.” Thank you for leading. Mor

    Like

  2. Becca L says:

    As a new wife in Youth ministry I feel I have a lot to learn from Jen’s Wisdom. I thoroughly enjoyed leading worship at one of her conferences in McAlester, OK and would love a copy of her book. I think I could use a good INTERRUPTION.

    Like

  3. Susan Adami says:

    So glad you got a chance to read Interrupted! I’m in the middle of one of Jen’s other books 7 right now. I agree the headlines are so overwhelming. It kind of makes me freeze. Thanks for the encouragement to focus on love and figure out how I can show love.
    Love you Helen!

    Like

  4. Donna Davis says:

    I’ve just recently discovered your blog. ‘Bowls of Worry’ resonated with me. I find myself mulling over that particular post often. Thank you for your transparency and grace. You’ve encouraged and challenged me. I’m grateful.

    Like

  5. Franky Hartman says:

    I became a fan of Jen Hatmaker in January when I saw her speak at a Women’s Conference my mother-in-law invited me to. I used to consider myself a devout Christian when I was a teenager but after going through some pretty difficult experiences I have struggled with my faith. Recently I have felt that God has been “interrupting” my life in order for me to figure out what my calling is. I’m in the process of leaving a job with fantastic benefits that I’m unhappy with to go to a small company that is run by wonderful people but doesn’t offer any benefits. I’m also in the process of going back to school with classes starting next week and applying to volunteer for the Sexual Trauma Services in the area. I have been wanting to read some of Jen Hatmaker’s books but do not own any nor do I really have much expendable income since I have to pay for school. I would LOVE to receive a copy of “Interrupted” to dive deeper into Christianity. I’d especially LOVE to be able to participate in the study Jen will be doing online in the Fall.

    Like

  6. Hi Helen, I’m enjoying reading through your posts. I am saddened by our broken world and by the broken people living in it. News is full of despair and tragedy. I wish there were more uplifting stories because I know they’re out there. I love your photography too! Hope all is well with you and your family, Terry (Wexler) Blais. 🙂

    Terry!
    This was such a delightful treat to read this comment from you and then to realized TERRY!!!!
    I echo your sentiments about the broken world and people. Sadly I think the stories of joy
    do get overshadowed by all the muck and mire.
    Such a joy to hear from you and thank you for reading and stopping by.
    I hope you are well!

    Helen

    Like

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