Who’s Barbara Wheeler, you ask? She’s the new editor in chief at BustedHalo.com®, the web magazine that I started and continue to contribute to now nearly 11 years later. I’m excited to see someone young at the helm and also excited to see someone with such a rich spirituality leading the way in exploring the spiritual conversations with other younger people. Barbara posted her first reflection on how her own spirituality led her to BustedHalo®.
I was beginning to see two paths — stay home and start a “career” or move away, taking more time to figure out what I wanted out of life. And the decision wasn’t easy. It always takes me an incredibly long time to figure out what to eat for lunch or what outfit to wear, so how was I supposed to decide which direction to take with my life? I spent hours making “pros vs. cons” lists and talking with friends about what I should do, but ultimately I had a campus minister give me the best advice, advice I still give myself and others in times of deliberation. Looking at the two roads before me she said, “You can’t make a bad decision.”
And I didn’t. It’s because of that choice that I would eventually find myself living and working in New York City. My decision to come to Busted Halo was rooted in a desire to be part of the spiritual journey of young adults — a journey I’m on, too. I think in the life of the Church today, young adult voices need to be heard and their stories need to be told. Young adults who are seeking to make sense of their spiritual selves want to make a difference in the world and often want to make a difference within their own church too. Busted Halo should be a place where young adults find equal parts support, challenge, humor, encouragement, inspiration, and spiritual growth.
Amen! That’s certainly the direction I hoped BustedHalo would move in way back when it all started. We wanted to be a voice for young people to discuss their own spiritual issues of the day. What was it that excited them, that got them out of themselves and brought them into a rich sense of their own sacredness and gave them a sense of wonder that the whole world was a reflection of God working through each one of us and each experience.
Barbara understands that well. Read for yourself:
My ideas about faith and spirituality aren’t limited to spiritual practice. I identify as a young adult seeking a meaningful spiritual connection in all parts of life — vocational, political, economical, environmental, and social. I connect with the lives of other women who made these connections, specifically Dorothy Day and Mother Teresa. Both women saw great need in the world and responded to that need with faith and conviction. Their outreach to the poor exemplifies the role the Church and individuals can play in reaching out to the marginalized in today’s world.
These two women led movements that not only continue to work with the poor, but also engage people of all (economic) backgrounds in common goals of sharing hospitality and showing God’s love to those in need. And when I think about today’s Great Recession and the economic despair shared by people in the United States and around the world, I know that Dorothy Day and Mother Teresa’s work is not finished.
And neither is the work ever going to be finished, please God, for BustedHalo®. So, I raise a glass to my new colleague, Barbara Wheeler. You’ve got a good foundation to build on (I say with a smidge of arrogant pride). I know you will take good care of “my baby” as your predecessors have. It’s a big job, but I know you are more than up to the task.
So today, let’s offer a prayer for Barbara and for those who use the media to bring just a glimmer of God’s love in our world to others. May Barbara’s work bring her joy and give us all much to think about and consider as we read each posting.
Barbara, my door is always open to you. And I hope that others also welcome you with open arms in the world of young adult ministry.
One of your many deadlines is approaching, so off I go. Slavedriver!