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Fasting from Discouragement, Making Visible the Good

So for Lent, I was thinking of doing the typical fasts: fast from Facebook and take up reading, fast from petty vices like overindulging in sweets and alcohol and take on moderation, yada yada yada.

But I'm re-thinking that.

Now one of the things I'm thinking about fasting from during Lent is discouragement. That means cutting back on what is so often the source of discouragement, which is a tendency to gorge on, or dwell on, bad news.

That would mean taking on encouragement: to make visible -- even on Facebook -- the good.

Because the problem is -- to paraphrase the community organizer Rich Harwood -- a lot of times we see "good news stories" as being quaint -- they are tossed in at the end of the news as an inspiring story, or put in the style section. But stories of good things happening -- people coming together to do things, is not a touchy-feely, feel-good story, but something affecting real change.

So for starters: I'm inspired by the leadership example of Christopher Fay, who was honored by the City of Falls Church with their 2017 Sprague Award for Affordable Housing Advocacy.


In receiving the award, Christopher spoke for, at most, five minutes, and in that five minutes not only said almost nothing about himself, but instead recognized and sincerely thanked, by name, so many other people that I lost count at 15. But three of those people were women who, with their young children, entered Homestretch homeless and are now, five years later, not only homeless, but home-owners.

"Good news" stories like these may not make the morning paper or into our news feeds, but they are every bit as "hard news" and real as the bad or discouraging news stories.

People like Chris Fay may not grab headlines or be the subject of our conversations in the mornings, but they are the true leaders -- and the true hope -- of our communities, and of our nation.

Comments

  1. Homestretch is amazing organization and Chris a true Servant Leader. Kudos to you for shining a light on the positive.

    ReplyDelete

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