Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

Today is Ada Lovelace Day! If you don't know, Ada Lovelace was the first computer programmer--and her work was done about 100 years before modern computers were invented! A few years ago, Ada Lovelace Day was started to celebrate women, past and present, in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In that spirit, I just wanted to give a shoutout to two awesome women I know in those fields.

My sister Diana is an amazingly talented accountant--probably the most practical form of mathematics there is. (She also has a great gift for incisive, charitable political thinking, but that's not the point of Ada Lovelace Day so I won't mention it.)

My friend Erin is getting a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, which is pretty freaking cool no matter how you cut it. I love talking to her about xkcd, outer space, and anything that makes us laugh.

I might have included a few other super-cool women in STEM fields, but they don't have blogs, so they lose out on this round. Anyway, I'm grateful to live in a world where people are able to enter fields they find interesting regardless of gender (though there are still plenty of informal obstacles to be conquered). Rock on, heiresses to Ada Lovelace's legacy!

Body of Christ

One of the things I like about religion (and life in general) is the way things can mean two different things. Puns are one light example, but I think of symbols as falling in this same general category. I was thinking this last Sunday about the multiple meanings of the body of Christ as I took the sacrament.

The bread of the sacrament represents Christ's literal body, which was broken and torn for us. It's a poignant reminder of his suffering, which itself is a representation of the love he had for us. But (probably inspired by this post about the sacrament) I was also thinking of the other scriptural meaning of the body of Christ. The phrase is also a metaphor for the Church, meaning the people who make up the followers of Christ. Paul speaks beautifully about how we are all part of one large body of Christ, and every body part is equally valuable. (Good thing he didn't have access to this wikipedia article.)

In this secondary context, the sacrament reminded me of how the members of Christ's church (broadly construed) are all torn and hurt, ravaged at times in ways that remind us of Christ's own suffering. As I ate the bread that was handed to me, I tried to think of the members of the Church who feel broken and bruised--and how I might be able to help them. I confess I didn't come up with any particularly insightful answers, but I did feel a kinship to my fellow sisters and brothers, and a renewed desire to make them feel like they really do belong to the body of Christ. I consider this a theological pun :)