Nov 3, 2010


A month ago Larry and I got to see our freinds Dave and Heather. Dave is a book editor. He spends a lot of time working on books that don't exactly inspire him. Dave is a casual, humble guy. He never toots his own horn. But he did say he edited a book called, "Radical," that challenges us to rethink the American Dream, and ask ourselves if it squares with the gospel. He said it was something he was really proud of, and he hasn't said that often.

A friend just mentioned it on facebook, so I went looking for it. I found this video.

Radical by David Platt on Vimeo.

This made me think about what we've been hoping in these elections - what we expect government and politicians to do for us.  I disagree with the Tea Party movement, but I sure understand people's frustrations over taxes.  We shouldn't expect the government (or big business) to hand us our lives on a platter. I think most of us want to work hard and get something out of it.  We want to put food on the table, raise our kids in a safe world, do something important, or at least satisfying, in the world. But how easily our dreams turn into anxieties, and we can find ourselves hoarding what we've got.

Last night my friends Anne Jackson and Solveig Leithaug did a show as part of Anne's Permission To Speak Freely tour, promoting her book of the same name.  We shared the stories we didn't feel safe to talk about in church. Then the audience shared theirs. It was spectacular, the way people opened up.

Afterward, a gal named Meeshee gave the three of us a handbag. We loved them. Then she told us the story behind the bags. Four years ago, Meeshee went to South Africa and visited a township, crippled by poverty and AIDS.  She had a dream to create some kind of work for them: work that could give them even a fraction of what we have.  

She started The Tag Bag: handbags made by the people of this township, created from used South African license plates and inner tubes!  The journey wasn't easy; the manufacturer pulled out of the endeavor, and production halted. But recently Meeshee found a new manufacturer. So the bags are back in production.

They're fabulous bags. Check out all the styles here.  And if you buy one, you do more than just get yourself a stylish handbag. You employ a township that needs the work. You give them the opportunity to feed their kids. Even then, they'll have only a fraction of what we have. 

So that's what was on my mind on Election Night: not gloating or moaning about who's in and who's out. But rethinking the American Dream. And doing something radical.  

So have you had any radical dreams recently? A germ of an idea or a hope for someone other than yourself?  I get caught up in my dreams for myself or Larry or my family.  I need to rethink my American Dream. 


diane said...

I follow a guy on Facebook who pared down his life to 100 things. He challenges others to do the same. He calls it the 100TC (100 Thing Challenge). His posts are often about simplicity and redefining the American Dream, etc. It's amazing how many people are TRYING to live on less and to change the paths of their lives. Good stuff.

Audra Krell said...

I just bought this book yesterday! Going to give it to my husband for Christmas. I had never heard of it, so glad to get this recommendation.

Lynse said...

When we lived in Birmingham and were looking for a new church we had the chance to attend his church. And he was for real. I also worked with a guy in his church and he and 5 other guys rented a 2 bedroom house so they could live on super low rent and reach out to those around them...hearing their stories and what God was doing was really really cool.

Beth said...

"Radical" is an amazing read. It will challenge you and convict you and anger you and encourage you. By far the best read I've found in the last several years (Bible excluded, of course!)

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