Author Archive: Melanie

About Melanie

I'm Mennonite. I live in Pennsylvania. I'm in my late 20s, which may or may not qualify me as "young." I'm single and I write copy (ads) for a living. In my spare time I try to do good works . . . to counteract the whole "writing ads" thing.

Ins and Outs

It’s a concept I learned in Sociology 101.

To have a group, you’ve got to have a boundary. Something that establishes the “in” from the “out.” What is a group without a clear line of demarcation?

Our church’s lines of demarcation used to be coverings, plain coats, black cars, no TV, etc., etc. Lots of time spent on who was in and who was out, and what defined separation from the world.

It’s not a conversation we have much anymore, but one I feel like we’ve got to have if we’re going to survive as a group. Are there new ways we can define what makes us counter-cultural? Things like the way we spend our money, the way we react to violence, the way we welcome and forgive and share grace . . . but these things are much harder to measure than whether or not someone is wearing her covering. And grace and forgiveness are not the same as apathy and tolerance, but they often look alike.

So what can we offer that is different than what our prevailing culture offers? Do we care enough to do that? And how do we do it without getting wrapped up in legalism?

Just stuff I’ve been thinking about.

Help thou my unbelief

I know a woman who has Stage 4 lung cancer. It spread to her brain and to her liver before it was discovered. She is now in the process of chemo and radiation.

She has two young sons and a husband. She’s only 40 years old.

This is not fair.

Of course it isn’t. And it never has been. Any time parents get cancer, or children die before their parents, or grandparents die before they can know their grandchildren it’s not fair. Some people cite this as a reason not to believe in God. Such a screwed-up, unfair world cannot possibly be under the control of a loving God, can it? (more…)