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Book Review: "Our Souls At Work"

I picked up this book at the Acton University last week.  It is an intriguing topic, and I was curious to see how it was handled.

The editor, Mark L. Russell,  states his purpose clearly in the foreword;  namely that every "worker need[s] to seem themselves at the frontline of what God is doing in the world."  Russell believes (rightly so, in my opinion) that our worship lives and our work lives should not be separate, regarless of what our jobs happen to be.

The book is a collection of thoughts from business people on various topics like leadership, balance, and success.  I wouldn't call them "essays", as most of them are quite short.  He draws from a wide variety of career paths, from attorneys to CEOs to human resources to photography.

There is where the "wide variety" ceases though.  I was disappointed that Russell did not include people from a variety of religious backgrounds;  his contibutors are all mainstream Christians, and (as far as I could tell), Protestant. 

His book doesn't address what happens in the work place when our faith collides with our job:  we have to hire someone we don't share beliefs with, our cubicle is next to a woman of totally different ethical views, or we are asked to do something we find immoral.  The book, overall, was a little too "fluffy" for me.

I would recommend it as a starting point for discussions, but it doesn't go deeper than the surface, and it isn't a very inclusive book in terms of diversity.

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I saw you
today
as you guided
your little man across that busy street.

You were wearing some
big man boots
and
watching cars and lights.

Your little man had on
black sneakers and
a Mickey Mouse hat
that bounced
as he walked.

He wasn't watching nothing but
your big man boots
and
the white stripes of the crosswalk.

Just before
he got to the sidewalk again,
his step bounced a bit
- he hopped over
a spot where the asphalt broke.

You turned to look,
holding out a hand to
your little man.
Not rushed or angry,
just making sure
he got up
on that sidewalk.

Then you walked on,
in your big man boots,
face into a cold Michigan wind,
with the little man behind,
his hat bouncing.