Living Simply Archive
HIV still a threat
Waiting for the results of the HIV test offered by a local nonprofit, I prayed for those who have the virus. I imagined how I might feel if I were among them.
Knowing When You’ve Done Enough
Cultivating a sense of enough may help us to see life as an interconnected whole rather than a hodgepodge of bits and pieces to swap in or out if given the chance.
First, a time to wait
Advent is a gift. It allows us to see the world as it is and glimpse what God wants it to be.
Ready for Vocation of Parenthood
The uneasy part is when the question pops up, as it often does, of whether I am thinking of having children.
Finding Digital Balance
How can we use digital technology without it becoming an obstacle in our relationships with God and with each other?
Culture of Violence
When a loved one dies, we feel the loss both in the shock after we hear the news and in the months and years as the absence continues. In Chicago, more than 300 families this year have borne the pain of having someone taken away from them by homicide. Leaders debate the cause of the high number of murders. Local and national news articles compare our city’s homicide rate to that of New York or Los Angeles, or the total deaths since 2001 to the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan. Chicago’s figures are worse in all three cases. […]
Call for a Jubilee at Walmart
Walmart marks the 50th anniversary of its first store opening in Arkansas this month. In the midst of its celebrations, advocates for the retail giant’s employees are calling for a Jubilee. In the world of ancient Israel, five-decade cycles of Sabbaths culminated with the Jubilee year. Just as the seventh day was Sabbath, in the seventh year people rested from cultivating crops, granted remission of debts and set slaves free, as detailed in Leviticus 25 and Deuteronomy 15. After seven Sabbath years, horns accompanied proclamations of a time of restoring right relationships and recognizing God as the source of all […]
Indebted to Education
Like many of us, I try to think carefully about how I spend my money, especially on larger items. I wouldn’t pay $30,000 for any amount of jewelry. I wouldn’t spend that to replace all the furniture in my house or all the clothes, shoes and accessories in my wardrobe. And yet I have spent much more than that on my education. After the recent transfer of my student loans from the original lender to another company, I spent the better part of an afternoon leafing through my past bills and trying to understand my current ones. When my frustration […]
A coal-fired power plant stands a couple of blocks away from inhabited homes in the neighborhood where I live. Public health researchers have connected the operations of this plant, which does not meet current emission standards, to health conditions in our community, including asthma, which affects many of the children in this area. While this plant is not the only contributor to pollution in our neighborhood, it is a key factor. Sandra Steingraber, an ecologist, would likely understand our situation. She was raised in a town in Illinois where there was an aluminum smelter. In her early 20s, she survived […]
Companions of the grieving
Grief causes myriad responses, and yet there are common threads. Many still talk about the stages of grief, including denial, bargaining and depression. Others refer to grief as having a set of tasks, such as accepting the reality of the loss. One thing that’s clear is that death causes a cascade of emotion. Shock. Anger. Heartache — real pain we feel in our chests. We mourn when we lose people we love. When encountering someone in mourning, many of us instinctively want to help. Yet lately I’ve been wondering if some of our well-worn traditions for responding to those going […]