IVP - Strangely Dim - Remembering Dorothy Day

November 29, 2010

Remembering Dorothy Day

Thirty years ago today the great Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement, breathed her last. I was ten and Catholic when she died; now I'm forty and evangelical. I miss her, and I never knew her.

Born into the middle class and indoctrinated in her early adulthood into a radical bohemian lifestyle, Day put off Catholicism till the birth of her daughter introduced her to the transcendent. Long an advocate of the labor movement, her conversion only strengthened her passion for the needs of exploited and marginalized people. Thanks to her gravitas and candor, she perplexed and intrigued people of various political, religious and social convictions throughout the turbulent mid-twentieth century. If the 1900s had any legitimate American candidates for sainthood (and I'm sure it did), she's certainly in the running.

Brian Mahan, in his book Forgetting Ourselves on Purpose, describes what he calls Dorothy's "epiphany of recruitment"--that moment when she knew, viscerally, that her life had to be about people in need. She was enjoying, of all things, a doughnut, when her mother offhandedly observed that not everyone in the world has enough food to eat. Dorothy was stunned and moved to tears, half-eaten doughnut in hand. Think about that the next time you find yourself doing something inconsequential: God may be recruiting you in that very moment to something profound, something lasting, something great.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at November 29, 2010 1:18 PM Bookmark and Share

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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