This morning as I was doing my usual 6:30 email and web news check the big story was another Abercrombie and Fitch stumble. Adding to its history of sexualizing pre-teens, the company recently made the news for selling a push-up padded bikini top marketed to girls as young as seven.
The news caused me, on a groggy Monday morning, to pause and be thankful for where we work. While we're not without our problems (what workplace isn't?), I wondered for a moment what it would be like as a person of faith working at A & F. How could you be proud of your company? How could you feel good about going to work knowing that you contributed to a product line and company culture that makes money turning second graders into sex objects?
By contrast last week I spent a day in Abilene visiting the missionaries who had come to Nashville for flood rebuilding and relief. They reminded me that it was the inspiration of our products that caused them to form domestic mission teams. They not only perform domestic mission work but have also built an orphanage for deaf children in Kenya. This congregation of 250 supports 2 1/2 paid missionaries overseas. They give us and our products a lot of the credit.
I went there to thank them, on behalf of Thomas Nelson, for their help with one of our own whose house had flooded. Instead they thanked me for the inspiration of our products.
So fresh off that visit I read about A & F and said a quick prayer of thanks for working at a place whose products inspire the best in our readers. I also said a quick prayer for those working for employers of which they are ashamed. May they find a way out and support their families some other way.