One Intern's Perspective

by Guest Blogger April 01, 2010

by Hannah Blair

[S]ince I began interning at Ruminate, I've talked about it with people. I've heard some call it an "edgy" magazine; others have talked about how it pushes limits. Some make these commnts with bright eyes and smiles, and I am encouraged. Others choose these words tentatively, and I am frustrated. Where is our genuineness? Christians are often concerned with appearances, and to some extent, that is important, "by your fruits you shall know them." But surely God cares less about whether we bring two casseroles to the church potluck in a beautiful outfit, and more about whether we talked to the strange-looking visitor in the back pew and were genuinely interested in what he had to say. Not that I'm one to talk—I write—and I don't generally talk that much, but I need to. To the idea of being genuine, we hear it in many places. In writing workshops we comment on whether a line is honest to the sensibility of the poem; my husband and I got married last summer and had a lot of thank you notes to write—it was a struggle to make the seventy-third card as genuinely felt as the first; when someone turns on the radio and I grit my teeth to the "Top 20," and I'm composing a scathing review of why this song isn't genuinely music; and if an eighty-nine year old woman in my congregation loudly announces that she plans to will all her clothes to me ("some of them only ten years old!"), I struggle to make my reaction genuinely grateful. What does all of this have to do with Ruminate? Of course, Ruminate is genuine. Life is broken, humorous, shameful, joyful, and despairing and so is Ruminate. This magazine isn't merely about the little struggles that Christians must face--well, perhaps I should work on my pride or yes, maybe I did drink too much on my twenty-first. Real people, Christians living today gossip, hold a grudge, blaspheme, curse, nag, skip devotions for "The Office," murder in our hearts and in reality, complain about one another, drink too much or use drugs, lie, lust outside of marriage, lust after the same sex, slander, and steal. We Christians have committed these sins before, and we continually struggle with them. Now, I am not advocating that we embrace sin because of its prevalence, but, I am advocating Ruminate, because it does not shy away from the genuinely difficult temptations that we face every day. As Christians I believe it is wrong to pretend that certain sins don't exist, or that some are just "unspeakable." This pretense creates an unhealthy façade in which everyone thinks that no other Christian must struggle with these sins but him or herself. If we are honest with ourselves, we'll acknowledge all sin and take heart that we are not alone. To everyone at Ruminate (and especially Brianna), thank you for the stunningly genuine offering that this magazine is, and the opportunity to be a part of it as an intern.




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