#25: Props.

***This is the twenty-fifth of a series of posts based on a book I’m reading for a class called Connections in Religious and Ecological Education entitled Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring for Creation. The chapter is “Colored Town and Liberation Science,” by Kristin Shrader-Frechette.

Shrader-Frechette talks about the first activist she knew… her mom.  She describes all the ways her mom, often to her total mortification as a child and adolescent, lived out her personal and social commitment to eradicating injustice, hypocrisy, and false piety.  “Talk is cheap, people show what they believe by how they live.”  I didn’t grow up in a family of activists, though my parents did teach me values that have helped me stay centered in my own small work for justice in my community.  But I keep thinking about who that person was, for me.  That first, unshakeably just person who lived consistently, constantly, intentionally in line with her/his values while still appearing human, approachable.  I grew up, during most of my teenaged years, in a progressive Mennonite community church.  Language about peace and justice was part of the air we breathed there.  I didn’t really grow into that until after college, long after I left my home town, but it had an influence over my life to be sure.  I think the first person who really did this was my sometimes-Sunday school teacher, Wendy.  Somehow, in the way of all strong, mysterious, effective women, she managed to be not only a good teacher, a fun and interesting human being, and a good friend, she also managed to seamlessly integrate into her daily life anti-war activism, community-building, music, art, gardening, doubt, resistance, openness to questions, independence, compassion, ingenuity, humility, and a holding-tight to people while letting them grow.  I’m glad to know she’s in the world.  Looking back through my own development, I realize I’ve seen her as a model without naming her.  I’ll do that now.  Thanks, Wendy.  Thank you.

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