“Because truly responsive care goes far beyond providing a basic means of survival. If we treat every crisis as it were a survival situation, then we end up only designing for someone to live from day to day. But if we treat it as if it’s about renewal and rebirth, then we’re focused on creating and generating life. This is where design should play an incredibly important role. Our sole purpose is to provide a better environment for all, whether it be for someone from the Upper East Side or from East Africa. Using design to introduce the opportunity of rebirth into somebody’s life, whether it is something that may seem frivolous or a product or structure that would help a family grow, is just as important as having each other. So the idea of a soccer ball is extremely important because in any part of the world, if you drop a soccer ball on the ground, forth kids are suddenly talking.” – Cameron Sinclar (Interview: design like you give a damn)
This caught both Geoff and my attention (he was reading over my shoulder on the train home) and in a small way captured something really exciting. Something exciting in design but perhaps even more so in following Jesus. I love it when there is this magnificent overlap, even if it is small.
I must also exclaim over part of an interview I saw last night on the ABC – Julian Burnside is a barrister who works with asylum seekers along with all kinds of other pro-bono work. There is a short quote on the top of his website by James Thurber (…which reminds me, I never did finish the Thurber Carnival, I wonder where it went?)
“All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why. – James Thurber
It kind throws a pointer at that Vocare stuff again. And then read this (from the interview with the ABC last night),
“PETER THOMPSON: For both you and your wife Kate, your work with refugees goes beyond the courtroom.
JULIAN BURNSIDE: Yes, yes, it does. Kate set up spare rooms for refugees partly as a symbolic response and partly as a practical measure, because people who come out of detention centres need somewhere to live. Kate had the simple practical idea that many Australian houses have got a spare room, so thatâ€™s a neat way of solving a housing problem.
PETER THOMPSON: Youâ€™ve opened your own spare room?
JULIAN BURNSIDE: Absolutely. You canâ€™t encourage people to do that and not do it yourself. So, weâ€™ve had refugees living here since early 2002â€¦”
He does it! He lives what he preaches. I am inspired.
And this pushes on illustrating sharing life, and diatribo (props to Kim Hammond for the word). It is inspiring, it is difficult, but when we participate then we are His hands and feet.
I managed to catch Michel Gondry’s new film Be Kind Rewind I confess I was disappointed in that it lacked such strangeness as the other two. I did enjoy the side comment about Citizen Kane’s weird time sequence and the mention that ‘that’s been done before’. I also enjoyed the fact that when walking out of the cinema, two old ladies were carrying a portable DVD player. Oh the irony! Despite all, it’s a fun and clever movie, I just didn’t like it quite so much as the Science of Sleep – which blew me away. Be Kind is almost too Jack Black.
Easter consisted of a ‘stations’ art/music installation at my church. We were a little rushed through but I really appreciate the launch into acknowledging and using the ‘other’ type talent around the place that is effective for the means and communal minded. It did make for good contemplation. I only wish I had longer. My little sister had two pieces in the exhibition and apparently someone has offered to buy them… I’ve been at her to sell her artwork, so perhaps now she’ll pay attention.
And yesterday was Anne’s (Geoff’s mum) birthday, so we went around there and typically ate too much roast dinner, saw the Grandparents and played Settlers, Blokus etc.
It’s been a tough year to stop enough to remember Jesus over this period. I think I need to do something about that.
In other news, Soul Survivor is coming up this week, and I really, really need to apply for a passport for June’s endeavor of returning to my childhood.
It’s easy to get comfortable. It’s easy to get involved somewhere and think we’re doing our bit. Or to shell out cash to alleviate our guilt and compassion.
I’m not sure how to determine what is a satisfactory level of service or giving. We may have to keep searching and stretching ourselves and taking further risks. I’m inclined to think that it leans well to the later. with our dependence on Jesus our strength – lots of balance and with less selfish emphasis on burnout.
â€œMuch of what I had done before along the lines of service was guilt induced. When I would hear a horrific story, I would want to respond quickly, write a check, and be done with it. But I have met many incredible people who are responding with their lives, and that has exposed something in me. I have been given a lot of joy in life, but Iâ€™ve also missed something. All of my life I have been grooming my faith, but have missed something about the purpose of that grooming. If I understand scripture at all, I have to know that to enter into the suffering of the poor and the oppressed is to know Christ and his suffering.â€
– Sara Groves
How do you find out how to do that in a society where it isn’t always blatantly obvious? Yes there are clear levels of poverty and homeless in Australia, but I feel kind of confused for the incredibly ignored ‘rich’. It is untrue to say that the rich have perfect lives. Where to enter that suffering?
Jesus hung out with tax collectors, right?
The quote that inspired me is from a post over at Radical Womanhood, the rest is really worth reading.