Simple Living Works!

Please Bring a Note from Your Pastor

Posted on: March 12, 2013


Graphic: Spirit of Simplicity: Quotes & Art
1. Voluntary Simplicity

Hi, Gerald.  I was fishing around on your blog when I discovered something fascinating and greatly consoling as your pastor.  I love that you are occupying wedding fairs. I know when I was a bride-to-be, I would have given anything to have someone deflate my anxiety balloon.

While that might console my social politics, I was much more relieved to discover you’re family doesn’t take you or your vocation seriously all the time. I worry for you about that sometimes.  But it seems your perspective is in good hands.

Blessing, Pr. Amy

Rita’s reply

The children and I have had lots of practice giving Gerald little slaps upside the head and calling him back to “appropriate” American cultural behavior. That does not mean that we are always successful but it does mean that sometimes he looks to us for advice about how his actions will be perceived by others. Elysha and I had already told Gerald that he cannot wear his Wikileaks T-shirt to Elysha’s wedding. His response was, “Oh, darn!” with a wink and a grin.

Gerald’s reply

The Fifth Life Standard of Voluntary Simplicity from “Living More with Less” is “Non-conform Freely.” That’s why I sometimes wear my ugly red socks. To remind myself that it’s OK to be different, to paddle against the current.

Fortunately, when I was a teen, I was big and I was smart, so I didn’t get bullied for being a Christian. I have been able to develop a sense of detachment from popular culture. That may be one benefit of being an introvert – one doesn’t seem to need so much approval from others that comes with conformity, fashionability, trends and fads.

I never leave the house without wearing a message shirt: “If You Want Peace, Work for Justice,” “You Are Here [Earth],” “Free Speech TV,” “Democracy Now!” I wear my “WikiLeaks” shirt to church!

I want people to know what I stand for. I may not be able to engage everyone I meet in conversation, but I may be able to make some small impression. If they’re progressive, they know I’m with them. If they’re fundamentalist, they know I will resist them. And my shirts almost always lead to encouraging conversations.

If we dress like “normal” people, we send the message that everything’s OK, even when we know it’s not.


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