Saturday, February 06, 2010

Loving Monday: Show, Don't Tell

Armory NYC

We are fond, in the writing world, of saying, "Show, don't tell." In other words: give stories, pictures, an embodiment of what you're really trying to share.

Today, rereading The Pastor as Minor Poet I was struck by Barnes' assertion that the "pastor is less interested in making an argument for the presence of Jesus Christ than in simply showing him to the congregation."

Seems to me that's true for all of us: our lives should show Jesus more than arguing for Jesus.

How does this happen in the workplace? I love that Beckett's book Loving Monday: Succeeding in Business Without Selling Your Soul doesn't begin with the question of how we show Jesus in the workplace. It begins instead with the story of a career change— from the aerospace industry to the oil burner business. Neither of these arenas seem, on the surface, to offer obvious ways to show Jesus to the world.

That's why I'm waiting for the rest of the book.

Suffice it to say, by beginning with his story, Beckett grounds everything that's to come squarely in the details of his life.

A little aside now: recently I've had the privilege of beginning to work with Laura Boggess, one of the new Content Editors at HighCallingBlogs (who'll be leading the discussion of Beckett's book). A psychologist who works with trauma patients, Laura embodies Christ to her clients through the details of her life.

She embodies Christ to her HCB co-workers too, in the way she offers to help, often without waiting to be asked. There's something comforting about working with a person who doesn't just do what she needs to get by, but who lives creatively and generously. (Speaking of creativity, you'll want to check out her blog The Wellspring and, if you know a teen reader, her book Brody's Story.)

Barnes, Beckett, Boggess, you, me, how do we show, not just tell, Jesus? I think it begins with the details of our lives.

Reflection on the Stairwell at the Armory, photo by L.L. Barkat.

Lyla's The Optional Downgrade
HighCallingBlogs' The Power of Story

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Anonymous Maureen said...

Laura Boggess graces life. I'm pleased to include her in mine.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous @bibledude said...

I'm a big Boggess fan too! Great post LL! I love how you shared about showing Jesus in our daily lives... That is some good stuff!

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

laura shows me what it looks like to be kind.

l.l. that is a beautiful photo.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Ann Kroeker said...

Embodying Christ in the details of our lives. Yes. This is how I want to live, and I'm so grateful to be among those who do it so well, both in word and deed.

You and Laura Boggess both embody Christ in our interactions, whether in our blogs, at HCB, Twitter, Facebook--everywhere we overlap.

I'm richer for knowing you both.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Eric said...

Following you as well as Laura and the many others at HC and HCB has given me a renewed creativity and new thoughts in how I embody Christ and live my faith in the workplace...thanks! :)

7:13 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I do try to show Christin my life in some small way...this is the greatest compliment you can give me. Thank you for these sweet words. I'm just tickled to be walking with you. And I can't wait to get started on our Loving Monday discussions!

8:29 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Loving Monday sounds fantastic. Thanks for the introduction, L.L.

(And I did end up joining HCB this past weekend; thanks for the encouragement.)

8:49 PM  
Blogger TUC said...

Totally off topic...
I have been reading your latest book, savoring it poem by poem before going to sleep at night... and I wanted to let you know that I am cherishing them. They are a pleasure to read.

5:11 AM  
Blogger Lorrie said...

I work in a very political competitive environment where information is power and all the egos run big. It's so tiring! So by NOT being that way to those around me (which I admit can be a challenge at times) IS action that speaks louder than words.
Also, with those who are of different faiths.. (Islam for instance) who would want to argue with me about Jesus.. I don't go there. I simply say that I know who He IS because I know Him.. I have a relationship with Him.
Great post L.L. :-)

10:26 AM  
Blogger Far Above Rubies said...

So true L.L. I heard a famous quote that said, "Preach Christ at all times, and if you have to use words."


Great post my friend.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Kelly Sauer said...

I did love this post. I love Laura. You guys are awesome.

I'm stopping in to drop off a link for RAP, per your prompt the other day. I hope your Sunday has been lovely.

"Drive-By Shooting"

6:55 PM  
Blogger Dianna Woolley said...

Beautiful photo and words to "show" by.

7:52 PM  
Blogger Lorrie said...

My RAP contribution is on my site... doesn't really follow the prompt but it IS random :-)

7:59 AM  
Blogger Bonnie Gray said...

Just dropped a comment at Laura's post. Who I'm becoming and not what I am doing is the eternal tension I make choices in every day. Some days it's easier than others.

2:09 PM  
Blogger S. Etole said...

lovely women both ...

6:19 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

those details are there. that is why i am here.

11:00 AM  

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