Masterpiece in the Mess

I suppose every storyteller–whether their tools be pen and paper or the gift of gab and a captive audience–have their own way of getting to the end of a story. The processes are probably as varied as the storytellers going through them. As I began painting a mural today, it occurred to me that mural painting isn’t too much different than my writing process.

I begin with an overall theme or idea and a blank space.

The theme is an ocean and this particular blank space is a room at a chiropractic office designated specifically for children. There are certain “must haves” requested by the client: dolphin, sea turtle and mermaid, but everything else has been left up to me. (These are my favorite kind of clients, by the way.)

But the blank spaces are rarely ever truly blank.

There are cabinets, electrical outlets and light switches to consider, not to mention the furniture that will be in the space once the painting has been completed. When we share our stories, we bring our past experiences with us, good and bad. In either case, we can work around them or choose to incorporate them into the picture.

When painting and when creating a story, it’s good to remember that things often get messy. Lines are blurred and smeared. You have to work towards the picture in your mind and rest assured that you have the talent and the tools to get you there in the end.

And speaking of tools, you’ve got to work with what you have in your tool bag.

This brush has seen better days. The tiny nails that fasten the brush head to the handle have worked themselves loose over several uses, which makes it necessary to grasp the brush at the base of the handle rather than the handle itself. There are bristles in the brush that are permanently stuck together which cause the paint to streak on the wall. I’ve got better brushes at home. I’m not sure why I grabbed this one. But you know what? A better brush wouldn’t have created the perfect, water-like streaks when I pulled the glaze and paint across the wall. Imperfection can help create unexpected beauty. Old and well-worn doesn’t necessarily mean useless, quite the contrary.

I’ve lost count of how many walls and ceilings I’ve cut in with this brush. It’s hardly a thing of beauty, but when I put it in my hand, I know exactly how close I can get to a ceiling or a baseboard without getting paint where it doesn’t belong. I trust it to do what I need it to do. I can’t say that about a new brush, which is why I rarely buy them. I do my best to take care of the parts that matter–the bristles–and accept the ugliness of the parts that don’t.

I’ve only just begun this mural. Many elements and layers still need to be added before it looks anything resembling an underwater seascape. But I know what I’m doing. I’ve done it before.

I’m confident that when I’m packing up my paint and brushes on that final day, it will mimic finished room I have in my head.

I can be confident of a good outcome despite the messiness I now see. Me–a person who has never taken an art class, someone who has just figured things out through trial, error and experience–how much more confident can we be that the Creator of the Universe, the One who knew your story before you took your first breath, can see the masterpiece He created in you.

His masterpiece in the mess.

This post is part of the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival: Much, hosted by my friend Peter Pollock. To read more posts on this topic, please visit him at

Pardon me while I rant incessantly: Attractional, Missional and the ones left behind

Deep, breathy sigh…

I’m still trying to wrap my brain around all the information I heard at Exponential 2012–the largest annual gathering of church planters in the world.

Four years ago, the missional church movement was beginning to gain momentum. It was right about that time when I read The Tangible Kingdom: Creating Incarnational Community by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay and loved what they had to say about living out our faith through living in community with one another and serving the world. After all, the point and the process of my church, C3 (also known as the “mission statement”) is Love God and people, Live in community with one another and Serve the world, or more simply: Love, Live, Serve.

So I was very excited to see that Hugh and Matt would be conducting some workshops at Exponential this year. One of particular interest to me was Practical Tools for Moving Consumers to Missionaries and Small Groups to Missional Communities. (Consumers being people who typically attend “big church” on Sunday but don’t get involved in missions or small groups.) As it turned it, Matt Smay was not in the session. Brandon Hatmaker, pastor of Austin New Church and author of Barefoot Church tag teamed with Hugh Halter for this session. And while I greatly appreciated the point and their process for discipling people through missional living and serving the poor, at the end of the session, something was nagging at me.

Big time.

Because for me, the process was more about weeding out those people who just wanted Jesus on Sunday morning without delving into the bigger question of WHY that was okay to only want Jesus on their own terms. I left the session feeling like nominal Christians were someone else’s problem, not the problem of the missional church. I was in such a lather about the whole thing that I couldn’t focus on the main session which followed the workshop. Instead, I began to scribble madly in my notebook the following:

Rich Young Ruler

Process seems effective at weeding out those consumers who have no interest in becoming committed followers, but I don’t see much in the way of moving consumers into something more. I understand that it’s easy to label these people as Pharisees and wash our hands of them, but people who don’t think they need Jesus–or worse, those who think they have a saving knowledge and relationship with Jesus but don’t–are the ones who so desperately need Him!

Then there’s the resource issue. Had the rich young ruler said, “Yes, Jesus. I choose you and everything I own belongs to the kingdom”, how would that have played out?

How do we lead people with financial resources away from consumerism into discipleship? And if they’re stubborn and don’t want to move, do we let them go and just say, “Good luck with all of THAT?”

By giving up on them and calling them Pharisees, are we not doing some of the hard things that Jesus would have us do because they’re easy to demonize? What could God do with their resources if we somehow lead them to an understanding of what it is to give your life to Christ? Without telling them that God will bless them–because if we do that, we’re just selling them more consumerism. Maybe they won’t be blessed. Maybe they’ll be sifted. But because they have much they are expected to give much. Are they a lost cause? A nut too tough to crack and bring into the family of God?

Still feeling very unsettled (and needing to pee because I’d had about 2 gallons of coffee that morning), I excused myself from the worship center to find a bathroom. Guess who was manning a booth on the way to the bathroom? Give up? Hugh Halter, Matt Smay and Brandon Hatmaker. Lucky them.

On my way back from the bathroom, I stopped at the booth. It went something like this:

Hugh Halter: How are you doing?

Me: I’m very frustrated.

Hugh Halter: Well, bring it on.

I proceeded to unload on them what I had madly scribbled in my notebook. I shared with them that I live in a community where you can’t swing a bat without hitting ten or so churches. Churches filled with disciples but also with what they would classify as Consumer Christians. I expressed that I did believe in their process of making disciples through missional living, but wondered aloud about those who didn’t choose that path. Are they not worth the trouble? Do we have a process of reaching those who think they are found but are really lost? Does God value them less because they seem to value Him less? Brandon talked me down off the ledge a bit. He shared an email from a wealthy man whose life had been transformed by serving the poor, and I am grateful that people are being transformed by truly living out their faith. He also told me that we can’t change people’s hearts, only God can do that. In the end, Brandon gave me a free copy of his book. I’m sure it was only partly to get rid of this raving lunatic woman at their booth.

But I’m still feeling frustrated.

I still think we’re leaving folks behind. People who may be as close as a conversation over a cup of coffee.

And I suppose that’s gotta start with me.

What do you think? Are nominal Christians the burden of the “big church”?

Unpacking #Exponential 2012

You may have noticed my absence from the blogosphere this week. (Or not.)

I left Monday afternoon with my husband and our dear friends Jeff and Tamara (who also happen to be our pastor and his wife) bound for Orlando, Florida.

Not for Disney or Universal Studios, but to the largest church planters conference in the US: Exponential.

This is a return trip for the four of us. The first was four years ago when Convergence Christian Church was little more than a dream and a vision. Now, having just celebrated our 3rd birthday as a church, Exponential was a much different experience than it was back then.

Not only am I unpacking books, brochures and swag from the conference, I’m also unpacking all the things I heard there. Whereas four years ago I took everything I heard as (forgive the word choice here) gospel, I’m more discerning now and more likely to question. Which is not to say we didn’t hear some great ideas. We did.

But I also think there’s not one absolute right or wrong way to plant a church.

Anyway, still unpacking and digesting some ideas. Hoping to regurgitate some onto you next week.

You’re welcome.

Have a great weekend.

Why I hate writing, Part 12: Unpaid writing

Digital publishing has opened up opportunities for writers like never before.

In years past, literary agents and publishing houses were the guardians at the gate. A writer’s work was at their mercy. They decided whether a manuscript was worthy of being shared with the masses.

But all of that is changing. If you’ve got enough money, you can be a published writer. I’ve got mixed feelings about this. There are plenty of very talented writers who have now been given the opportunity to share their words with the world without having to pass the muster of an agent and a publisher willing to make investments in both time and money. And that’s a very good thing.

However, there are also many writers who perhaps publish before they are ready. Before their manuscripts are ready. And I wonder if they do their future work a disservice by offering a product that is substandard today.

Then there’s the matter of payment. Very few published authors make enough money at their craft to be able to write full time. To compound the problem, writing jobs such as weekly newspaper columns and short stories for magazines which used to garner writers payment for services rendered are now often written for free with the promise of “exposure to a wider audience”.

In the following video clip, Harlan Ellison has some very strong opinions about writers giving their work away. What do you think? Does working for free ever pay off, or do you think a writer should expect to get paid for his time and talent?

Warning: There is strong language in the following video which may be offensive.

The artist who follows Jesus

I came across a passage in a book I read a couple of years ago that beautifully reflected the heart of an artist who has chosen to follow Christ. “The God Who Smokes: Scandalous Meditations of Faith”(1) by Timothy Stoner (yes, that’s his real name) has served as a much needed reminder that the God of Mercy is also the God of Wrath. May I never forget that!

Anyway, just a bit of encouragement for my fellow artists:

The artist who follows Jesus explicitly resides in the world and participates in culture in a truly unique way. She helps others pay attention to, take notice of, and celebrate the goodness of the good creation. She does not shy away from the dark and the broken, the sorrow and terror–but crafts it in such a way as to point toward hope. It is revealing a pathway out of despair and chaotic meaningless. Her work is a candle that flickers and flares.

Her art is for the good of the world.

She does it for the blessing of the world.

She is intent not on reinforcing the curse but breaking it. She has and is a gift. She is sent, like Jesus, to open the eyes of the blind, open the ears of the deaf, or give words to the mute. She is sent on a mission of freedom. Her mission mirrors that of her Savior. She is sent to break chains of despair, set at liberty those tied up with cords of emptiness, futility, and death, and bring sight to those who have lost the capacity to see. She is sent to give us the forgotten vision of the glory that peeks out behind the bush and branch and sea and life as it was meant to be. She sings and shrieks and falls to rise again, to give voice to what we’ve forgotten or refuse to hear.

She pours out her blood that a world may be saved.

She serves not always willingly or well but in her best moments, when she has forgotten herself, she serves.

Still, her loyalty is not here. She has had her idolatrous attachment broken. She is free to be in but not of . She is not slavishly loyal to the patterns, the values, the demands, and commands of a world in love with itself. Her eyes look up even as she looks out, and in looking around she sees through. She is not bewitched by appearances nor overly and permanently distraught. She has seen a city whose builder and maker is God, and she pines for the day when it will come here so there will be light forever.

And the light will be the love and the joy of her life.

She has this secret. Her heart has been captured by a lover who is out of this world. But He is coming back. She wants to make herself ready and her friends and ever her enemies , too. So she does her work as best she can and prays that it is good, that it will shine so brightly as to bring glory not to her but to Him.

(1) Stoner, Timothy.
The God who smokes: scandalous meditations of faith
published by Navpress, 2008

Parting is such sweet sorrow

A mix of pride and sadness came over me yesterday as I watched the Space Shuttle being piggybacked on a 747 to its final home at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

President John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1962, at Rice University, Houston, Texas

As we say goodbye to an era, I hope and pray that we as a nation do not abandon the desire to do great things because there are great things yet to do, and to once again boldly go where no man has gone before.

Dried up paint and the GSA

My son does not have hobbies. When something sparks his interest, it becomes an all-consuming passion. For proof of this, you need only look in our attic: Several Rubbermaid containers housing Thomas the Train Engine and all his friends along with bridges, wooden train track and other accessories.

Then there was his Yu-Gi-Oh phase. At first simply collecting cards and watching horribly predictable anime on TV was enough, but soon he was spending his Saturdays at Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments.

Then came Warhammer: a tabletop wargame where two or more players compete against each other with “armies” of 25 mm – 250 mm tall heroic miniatures. The remnants of this last hobby have yet to make it to the attic. They’re in that in-between place also known as the closet.

His propensity towards enthusiastic immersion in interests isn’t necessarily a bad thing. His drive to be the best he can be at whatever interests him has helped him become good at both football and French horn.

But with football season over and the school year winding down, my son has found a new passion: Paintball.

If you or someone you know has ever played paintball, you know that it is not a cheap hobby. It’s expensive enough if all you ever do is play with the rental equipment provided by the paintball place, and it only took a month of Saturdays for my son to come to two realizations: 1) He wanted to become a professional paintball player, and 2) He would never achieve this goal using rented equipment.

His allowance covers the cost of his weekend paintball games, but soon he began asking for extra chores around the house to earn money for paint pellets, a mask, protective jersey and pants. Oh, and a gun. But that’s a whole other story…

The first chore I relinquished to him was a no brainer. With the exception of two 9 month periods over the past 15 years, the job of changing out the cat litter box has been exclusively mine, and frankly, I don’t know why I didn’t give him this job sooner. But as disgusting as it is, it wasn’t going to earn him the kind of disposable income he was seeking. He needed a big job, and after thinking it over for a couple of days (which may or may not have included his constant nagging), I finally came up with one.

Some of you may know that in my non-virtual life I’m sometimes a painter–walls, canvases, etc. If paint will stick to it, chances are I’ve painted it. Over the years, I’ve managed to amass quite a collection of acrylic paint–you know the kind–the little 2 to 4 ounce bottles they sell in the craft store? Yeah, well I have about 500 to 600 of those, many of them either nearly empty or dried out. And since I’ll soon be painting a couple of murals, I’ve needed to assess what I have, and who better to go through 500 to 600 bottles of paint than my darling son? Better him than me, huh?

He was eager to get started and even more eager to get it over with and get his $20. My instructions were clear. He was to check each bottle, first by shaking it. If he couldn’t hear and feel paint sloshing around inside, he was to open the bottle and check to see if the paint was dried out. Good paint was to be returned to the color coded 2 gallon ziplock baggie from whence they came. The duds went into a large garbage sack.

This system worked fine for the first 50 or 60 bottles of paint. But then he decided that if he didn’t hear the paint sloshing around, he wouldn’t bother checking to see if there was paint inside. He simply assumed the paint was dried out. This resulted in a whole lot of full bottles of paint which had never been used being tossed in the garbage. It also resulted in him having to start over again and some mild grumbling. The job was eventually completed, but this time under my watchful eye.

I hope that this was one of those teachable moments for my son. I know it was one for me. Because you see, even though my son cares for me, he cares absolutely nothing about painting. To him, those bottles of paint were just things to be sorted or discarded. He couldn’t understand, as my daughter would, being a fledgling artist herself, that those bottles of color represented the elements of a sunset or an ocean teaming with life, a poppy flower or a puppy dog. How could he know that? And why should he care? Painting is my passion, not his.

There’s no attachment to something you take no ownership in.

Which is why I’m not particularly surprised to hear of the recent scandals surrounding the General Services Administration or GSA. To be honest, I’ve never paid much attention to who they are or what they do, or rather what they’re supposed to do. According to Wikipedia:

The General Services Administration (GSA) is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1949 to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. The GSA supplies products and communications for U.S. government offices, provides transportation and office space to federal employees, and develops government-wide cost-minimizing policies, and other management tasks.

It’s bad enough that an agency created in-part to develop cost minimizing policies for the government is so brazenly wasting taxpayer money, but to mock us all in the process? It makes my blood boil.

But why should they care? It’s not their money, right? They didn’t earn it. They’re not personally invested in its management. They were simply put in charge of spending it.

What could possibly go wrong with that scenario?

Multi-tasking and the death of manners

I sit in a darkened theater watching previews for the coming attractions. Once those are over, a familiar reel appears on the big screen, this time its star is The Lorax rather than Kung Fu Panda. But the message is the same: Please silence your cell phones and don’t send text messages during the movie.

I let out an involuntary sigh as several audience members reach for their phones to silence them. I sigh because of the necessity of the Public Service Announcement, I sigh because people should know better than to walk into a theater without first silencing their phones and I sigh because I know, based upon past experience, there will be at least one member of the audience who will disregard this request. I’d like to say I was pleasantly surprised that no one within my line of vision texted during the movie, but I can’t.

Two days later…

I wait in a long line at Starbucks. I check email while I wait but quickly put my phone away when I approach the head of the line. I give the barista my order–Venti, regular coffee–pay for it and move aside for the next customer to place their order. Since plain coffee is a simple order, the barista hands me my cup almost immediately. The morning rush is still in high gear. I find a place at the bar and wait for the traffic to die down at the sugar/cream station. My position gives me a view of the line of customers as they approach the register. The vantage point is behind the baristas and slightly to the right. I settle in and resume checking my email until…

A woman walks in and makes her way to the end of the line. She is one of several customers, and I wouldn’t have noticed her had she not been carrying on a rather loud phone conversation about potential candidates for a job opening at her company. Seemingly unaware of the 40 or so other human beings in this rather small Starbucks, she was completely engrossed in her own world. As she moved up in line, she removed her debit card from her purse with not so much as a pause in the conversation.

Now she’s at the front of the line, and she did what I fully expected her to do but hoped she wouldn’t. She said into the phone, “Just one second, Sue”, then proceeded to dictate a Chai Tea order so complicated I couldn’t repeat it if I tried. The barista repeated the order back to her, but midway through, the woman was back to her conversation with Sue, nodding impatiently to the barista. A few minutes later, Chai Tea in hand, she was walking out the door without so much as a thank you. Still with that damn phone in her ear.

The gentlemen seated next to me with the laptop and I exchange glances of silent and mutual disapproval. Multi-tasking run amok.

Another involuntary sigh from me as I sip my coffee and recount a quote from Charles M. Schultz which I find myself repeating all too often lately:

“I love humanity. It’s people I hate.”

Or possibly my abbreviated version:

“People suck.”

Probably the latter.

But just as my faith in humanity resumes its downward trajectory before 9:00 in the morning, I spot a new customer.

Among the crowd of business people and stay at home moms, he’s hard to miss, even though he doesn’t give the impression he wants to draw attention to himself: tan slacks, starched white shirt, red tie, boots and cowboy hat. If that’s not enough to draw your attention, the silver star of the Texas Rangers on his chest and the holstered service revolver on his right hip surely does. From the back of the line, he greets the baristas by name, shaking off their suggestions that he needn’t wait in line. Once through the line with coffee in hand, he makes his way over the end of the bar where I’m sitting and stands there. Every now and then he’ll engage in conversation with one of the baristas, but he’s cognizant of the morning rush, and only talks to the staff between customers.

I hadn’t intended to stay at Starbucks for as long as I did, but I was curious why this Ranger was still there. He hadn’t taken a seat. He just stood there waiting. Finally, my curiosity got the best of me.

“Are you waiting on an order for the whole department?” I asked.

He smiles and shakes his head.

“No. I’ve known these folks for 10 years. My job keeps me busy and far away. I just wanted to come in and catch up with everyone.”

In the span of 45 minutes,

I’ve witnessed a woman so self-absorbed in her own world that she couldn’t put her phone down long enough to acknowledge another living, breathing human being talking to her or to say thank you to said human being for not screwing up her ridiculously complicated fancy tea order…

And I’ve seen a man worthy of attention shy away from it. A man who could get all the free coffee he wanted but instead insisted on paying for it.

As I walked by the ranger, I wished him a wonderful day and I thanked him.

I was out the door before he could ask why I was thanking him.

“Why, for restoring my faith in humanity, sir.”

Building a Life out of Words

Whenever someone asks me to review a book they’ve written, I approach the task with an equal mix of flattery and trepidation–flattered that my opinion of their work means something to them and wary that I won’t be able to write a glowing, positive AND honest review.

After receiving one book a year or so ago and realizing I couldn’t possibly in good conscious write a positive or even passing review, I made a personal decision that I would rather not write anything at all than write a bad review of something a person has devoted so much of their life to. (For the record, the author of this book is not anyone I’ve ever heard of or had any personal interaction with. It was sent to me by a well meaning publicist who probably assumed because I was a Christian I would give an automatic glowing review for a fellow Christian.)

When I received a request from Shawn Smucker to review his latest book, “Building a Life out of Words”, I was again flattered and wary. I’ve not read any of Shawn’s previous books, but based upon what I’ve read from him online, I know him to be a talented writer. But what gave me pause was the title of his book.

What I’m about to say will probably not win me any friends in the writing community, but here goes.

I’m not a big fan of writers writing about writing.

Unless they’re of the caliber of Stephen King, Steven Presswood or E. B. White, I consider (probably unfairly) whether they have the gravitas required to give advice about the craft of writing or a writer’s life. And yes, I know I’ve written several stories about writing, but I’m just a blogger. Furthermore, my writing posts are primarily from the viewpoint of the reader, not from that of someone who claims to be an expert in the field.

However, a few pages into Shawn’s book I realized that I had been wringing my hands for naught, because Building a Life out of Words succeeded in accomplishing one of the most important goals (for me, anyway) of compelling writing:

Show, don’t tell.

Shawn doesn’t tell you that you will fail and be rejected, he shows you his own failures and rejections with a raw honesty and humility that I rarely ever see in the written word.

He doesn’t tell you the importance of a supportive wife and family, he shows you how his wife Maile believed in what most spouses might consider a silly pipe dream with stories of sacrifice, loyalty, love and understanding that, even now as I think of them make me want to give that woman a giant hug.

But I don’t want to give the impressions that this book is just about the difficulties of life as a full time writer. Shawn also shares his victories–big and small–and reminds us that perseverance is every bit as important as passion, regardless of whether you aspire to write, paint, perform, run your own business or (insert dream job here).

Using first person narrative, personal journal entries and stories contributed by other writers and bloggers, Building a Life out of Words is less of a blueprint of how to write full time and more a reflective and encouraging handbook for anyone who feels like the life they long for is beyond their grasp.

The book is peppered with encouraging quotes from Shawn, all worthy of clipping and pasting onto your refrigerator, but it was his closing words that I found most encouraging:

This is what I hope for you. Not that you would be known as “that person who gave up their job to do what they loved to do.” As good as that sounds, and as exciting as that would be, that step is just the beginning of a wider, deeper, richer story.

I hope that you will be known as a person who lives. Really lives. Someone who makes decisions, not based on what’s expected, but on what’s possible. Someone who does things, not because everyone else is doing them, but because it’s what you want to do more than anything else in the world.

Now that would be a life worth living.

– Shawn Smucker

Got a dream life waiting?

I dare you to move.

Shawn Smucker is the author of several books, and is currently living out of a forty-five foot trailer, traveling the countryside with his wife Maile and their four children. You can catch up with his comings and going at

You can order Building a Life out of Words here.

Pardon me while I rant incessantly: The Hunger Games

No, wait…

I’m not going to rant incessantly about the movie.

I LOVED the movie.

You know how book snobs like me always say “Oh, the book was SO much better than the movie”? I can honestly say that the movie captured the book better than any adaptation I’ve ever seen. Moreover, Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of the Katniss Everdeen was so compelling I actually left the movie liking the heroine more than I did had I just read the book.

I’m not going to write a review about it, either. Although if you want to read a fabulous analogy of it, you should hop over to my friend and award winning author Amy Sorrells’ place. She wrote a great one: What’s so great about The Hunger Games?

No, no. I’m good with the movie.

What’s angering me are some of the reviews. Reviews which focus on Lawrence’s appearance. Apparently, she’s too heavy to play Katniss Everdeen.

Jennifer Lawrence on the red carpet, 2011 Ocscars

Oh, yeah. She’s a real fatty, isn’t she?

In a perfectly executed backhanded compliment, Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote about Lawrence:

“Lawrence is one of those performers the camera loves; her appearance alters in different scenes and shots — lingering baby fat shows here, she resembles a Cleopatra there — and she can convey a lot by doing little. An ideal screen actress.”

While The New York Times took the blunt albeit equally snarky approach:

“A few years ago Ms. Lawrence might have looked hungry enough to play Katniss, but now, at 21, her seductive, womanly figure makes a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission.”

A Daily Mail article chronicled yet more ridiculous observations:

Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir points out Miss Lawrence’s ‘well-fed’ body in the film, with the notion that her frame inherently renders the actress as too fat to play a realistic Katniss.

Referring to her body shape in a similar vein, Variety’s Justin Chung wrote that any evidence of the movie’s supposed hunger in the poverty-stricken District 12 ‘barely even seems to register.’

Further still, in what could be considered blatant sexism, Hollywood Elsewhere’s Jeffery Wells calls Miss Lawrence a “fairly tall, big-boned lady” who is too big for her romantic interest Josh Hutcherson.

In an interview with Seventeen Magazine published in April, Lawrence talked about weight issues and Hollywood:

“I’m just so sick of these young girls with diets,” Lawrence told Seventeen. “I remember when I was 13 and it was cool to pretend to have an eating disorder because there were rumors that Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie were anorexic. I thought it was crazy. I went home and told my mom, ‘Nobody’s eating bread – I just had to finish everyone’s burgers.'”

What I find glaringly ironic (to me, anyway) is that by criticizing the actress for not starving herself into the typical and acceptable body type for a Hollywood actress, critics of Miss Lawrence serve as a real world re-creation of the elite, chosen ones who populate the Capitol in The Hunger Games story…

making themselves look equally ridiculous in the process. Who are they to decide what is acceptable?

I hope the groundswell of backlash against these petty reviewers from the legion of Hunger Games fans continue and that its heroin, Katniss Everdeen aka Jennifer Lawrence becomes the new poster child for young girls currently starving themselves in a vain attempt to attain the unattainable, unhealthy bodies of so many Hollywood actresses.

You go, fat girl!

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