Labor of Love column in the local paper

Every six weeks I have the opportunity to write a column for our local Sunday paper, the York Sunday News. It is a good chance to practice writing non-book review pieces—man, I hate the word limit—for a public audience. Here, I try to offer hints of a Christian view of work and how the broader story of what God is doing in the world might inform our view of our jobs and callings.
The original draft had more about structural change and social innovation, even telling just a bit about our friends in the Christian labor movement in Canada. I had to cut a lot out, but I hope you still enjoy it. You understand why I have the Modern Times photo when you read it.
You can read it here at the York Sunday News webpage.
For a short and Biblically punchy essay that will knock your socks off on this topic, see the always fabulous pieces by my friend Mike Metzgar, at his Clapham Institute, especially the new one called “Labored Day.” If this makes you scratch your head a bit, call us asap and we will sell ya some books that develope his point. If you like it, sign up for his automatic notification (like ours, ) and read him regularly. Mike’s work is unique, insightful and fun. Good stuff!
And, for a longer, tender and very thoughtful piece written by Steve Garber, please read (and re-read, and send to your pastor to read and re-read) his A Wound in My Heart Has Been Healed. I have mentioned his Washington Institute website before, and it is well worth the visit.

3 thoughts on “Labor of Love column in the local paper

  1. Did you ever hear of Jerry Jeff Walker (a Texas outlaw crazy singer-songwriter that influenced Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, David Bromberg, etc)–the guy who actually wrote (based on a true jail experience) the great song “Mr. Bojangles”?He has a great old song called “Charlie Dunn.” It is about a boot maker who can size up the kind of person you are by the kinds of boots you buy.The first line is sorta spoken, something like “If you’re ever in Austin Texas, a little run down on your sole…” Or is it soul? The bridge is a classic money vs meaning story: And ol’ Buck’s up front, he’s countin’ up his goldCharlie’s in the back patchin’ up the solesAll the people comin’ in smilin’ at him They all wonder how’s ol’ Charlie beenBuck’s makin’ change but he never ever sees no oneAnd he never understood the good thing ol’ Charlie doneThe NY Times did an obit on him when he died at 95.

  2. Beautiful article, Byron! I love the many concrete examples you offer, to counter the caricatures of “waitress” and “health care provider” and “mechanic.” There’s a shoe cobbler in our town who SINGS while he works, and often works while you wait. He’s approximately a million years old and we look for excuses to go visit his shop. Which reminds me I need to think carefully about calling, vocation and motherhood today, to attempt to be a gracious mom on this last day before school starts. Children are still lolling in bed, grouchy…

  3. Bryon, This is a great article, thank you for bringing the words to life in it. I often hear that more people who are in the “rat race” notice more the rut of the wagon wheel found in the mud then they notice the flowers on the side of road. The words of Jesus that come to mind in the midst of this article is is Jesus’ call to “not worry…but consider the lillies of the field” (Matthew 6:25-29) Thanks again for serving the world by giving life to this blog, and sharing your passion for the Word. Peace~ Ryan

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