[this started as a response to a comment…]
Two challenges in one week.
The observant will notice the fabulous picture of Canary Wharf being struck by lightning has been pulled and replaced in my profile. I found the photo on Google Images. This iconic image of our area was perfect. It is the last thing I see when I close our curtains. It’s flashing interrupts my sleep. It is what greets me when I wake up. Perfect. I linked it in my profile. I didn’t realise that I would need a license to use it as a thumbnail image. I didn’t realise I breached copyright. But an email from the photographer alerted me to the error of my way. So the observant will notice the fabulous picture of Canary Wharf being struck by lightning has been pulled and replaced.
Lana gently nudged me to think ethically about a central strut underpinning the reflections that are URBANarmy. Should I feel discomfort at the use of everyday stories that are shaping my theology and missional thinking? People are part of my life. Poplar has a high quotient of fragmented and broken people with different demands. They walk daily through the doors of our church and in one form or another into my life. These people as part of our church join with Bonhoeffer; Moltmann; Barth; Bosch; Newbigin; Sweet et al. shaping my thinking, bringing context to the gospel, context to mission. URBANarmy has – on the whole - become my collection, my compilation of theological reflections. No-one else’s but mine.
Very early on in URBANarmy – I decided that it would not be fair use actual names so apart from intentional and thought through exceptions – every name used is a pseudonym. Postings on the whole are delayed. Postings are passed through my own filters to ensure that no-one is robbed of their dignity. But is that enough? Should the possibility that any of these characters stumble on URBANarmy and recognise themselves be the ultimate line?
I’m glad Lana raised the issue. Lana of course I am not offended – and I hope that these thoughts are not sounding defensive. But I don’t feel the same level of discomfort as the fabulous picture of Canary Wharf being struck by lightning because the stories that periodically emerge are not about Victor; not about Patrick; Maureen… Ray – the stories are about me. My feelings, my reflections, my reactions – about the lessons that the unlikeliest have taught ...me. Lessons that I do not want to lose. Lessons I have learned. Lessons I am learning with people I journey with daily.
I don't share Lana's unease.
Perhaps I should?
I don’t know.