Tuesday, March 4, 2014

On Lent, Sacrifice, and Donating My FAULT LINE Proceeds

So a lot of you know that I teach Sunday school. I talk about my hipster, social justice, reconciliation church enough for most people to be aware that faith exists in my life. But while I’m normally at service every week, and I spend a good deal of time talking spirituality with my 7th and 8th grade Sunday school class, I’ve always found Lent to be a little bit of a troubling time of year.

It’s not because I’m incapable of “giving something up” for Lent. I have given things up in years past, but basically I haven’t exactly figured out the point of that. My 11yo told me it’s about learning discipline and patience. I’ve been in publishing long enough to know that I’m pretty solid on both these concepts. Which brings me back to the idea of sacrifice.

Whether or not it was the intention of the church, people now use Lent as a sort of second “New Year’s resolution”. And while I definitely believe in do-overs (my life is riddled with them, after all), for some reason, I have a hard time believing that this was the expectation when the season of Lent was first established.

So I thought about it and realized if I’m going to sacrifice something during the Lenten season, it would be much more beneficial to the world if something positive came out of the sacrifice. If the sacrifice actually worked toward change in a good way. Because I’m pretty sure no one would see any positive things coming out of me giving up chocolate unless they really like surly a-holes.

To that end, and because I have a hugely supportive family and agent and editor (and day job), I’m going to give all the income I make from Fault Line book sales during Lent to the Voices and Faces Project in order to help fund more testimonial writing workshops for survivors. (If you’re wondering the logistics of this, it has to do with weekly POS numbers that my agent tracks so we’re going to track those numbers for the 6 weeks of Lent and calculate accordingly).

When Lent’s over, I’ll go back to giving 50% of my proceeds away like I always have. But during these forty days (well, forty-two really since we’re doing weekly numbers…Bookscan isn’t an exact science, after all), this is the plan. And I hope you participate it in some way (spreading the word, buying a book for your library, etc).

And maybe we’ll fund another workshop, or maybe we’ll fund three, or maybe we’ll only fund half a workshop…who knows? The point is steering the ship toward doing something better, making a difference, helping in some way. 


M.J. Fifield said...

When I was a kid, I always tried to give up homework for Lent. My mother never went for it, though...

I love the Voices and Faces Project. It's great that you're doing this.

Anonymous said...

This post really moved me. I was already firmly behind your decision, and already wanted to help however I could, but thank you for this insight into your faith and your choice. Very excited to see what happens with all of it!

Unknown said...

You are beautiful and wonderful and already know that the fast you give is all about an emptying and an opening and a making space for God.