Engaging With the World Through the Lens of the Good News

Julie wrote in response to an old post, but I thought her reflections so lovely that I lifted them and am using them as a separate column:

I’ve done enough CPE to know that how I present myself does represent how I feel about myself. And it seems to me that so many women (and men) have eschewed art and creativity and celebrating the beauty of humanity in order to embrace a fear that they will be perceived as taking too much power, drawing too much to themselves, being too materialistic.

However, I am equally, if not more concerned by the ways in which we establish beauty. Already today I’ve been told by the media that I am too fat, my hair too brown, my skin too freckled, my shoes to old, my eyelashes too short and my teeth too yellow.

I get that most women clergy are serving places where their appearance gets judged first, but I also believe we are called to engage the world through the lens of the Good News. It matters where our clothes are made; it matters how many pairs of shoes I own; it matters that I won’t whiten my teeth.

Rather than blindly following these standards of beauty, or blindly ignoring them, I think we need to actively engage them and determine again what is fabulous, creative, and genuinely reflective of the hope of our calling.

Kiss of peace and thanks for your lovely words, Julie!

3 Replies to “Engaging With the World Through the Lens of the Good News”

  1. I enjoy your blog very much and, although I’m not a member of the clergy, have found it helpful. Recently I solved a cryptogram and found the following, which reminded me of what some clergy are up against:

    “The clergyman is expected to be a kind of human Sunday. ” — Samuel Butler [That’s lovely! Thank you! – PB]

  2. So very with Julie. I’m not ordained, but I know that I am a minister of the Gospel as a theological/ministry educator. Part of my job is BEING good news (which sometimes, when it involves serious truth-telling, can look like BAD news, but that’s another set of stories).

    A few weeks ago, our lovely Archbishop said in one of his talks that self-care matters. Not self-indulgence, but proper care of ourselves. And that means attending to who we are as God’s creatures engaging with God’s other creatures.

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