The movie The Martian—starring Matt Damon—tells the story of fictional astronaut Mike Watney. Watney finds himself stranded on Mars after an emergency evacuation of his space station. The story follows his incredible ingenuity, innovation, and resilience, in fighting for survival.
While October 31 is more popularly known as Halloween, the date also holds a special place in the heart of many Christians. On this day 501 years ago, a German monk named Martin Luther published a list of grievances against the Catholic Church. He nailed this list—which later came to be called the 95 Theses—to the door of the chapel at the University of Wittenberg, and this ignited a movement.
If God were on social media, would He like your post?
I used to take to Instagram daily. I would post a picture with a caption telling my followers what I felt at the moment. I would post sad reflections, happy anecdotes, and even angry rants. It was my way of expressing myself and dealing with boredom and loneliness. I could “talk” to my followers without actually engaging in a conversation or meeting up with anyone.
“Where is the evidence of your love?”
His words pierced my heart.
“Where is your love for the broken, for those who face injustice?”
I felt offended and hurt by my friend’s quick and harsh reproach, and wanted to remonstrate in my self-righteousness. But my breath caught in my throat, because deep down, a part of me knew that he was right.
I was trained as a social worker and worked for seven years in a government agency. I loved that my job entailed advocating for change at a systemic level and thrived at work. It also enabled me to live out my faith intentionally, which shaped the ways I interacted and worked with those around me.
“Keep an eye out for watermelon boxes. They’re the thickest ones out there,” Fridge instructed as we headed for that night’s cardboard run.
It was only my second night sleeping on the streets, but I already knew exactly what Fridge—one of our guides for the weekend who has spent many years homeless—was talking about.
It was the summer after 9/11. Looking back, I can’t quite believe that we went. Everything and anything to do with airports and security was tense, and everyone was on high alert. So much was going on in the world, and yet our church still commissioned and sent out five different groups of teenagers to five different countries.