Yesterday, I visited my local post office arms laden with packages to mail. Also needing stamps, I asked the attendant to pick out some pretty commemoratives. Wanting me to chose, she brought out every one in her drawer. One set caught my eye, not because they were beautiful, but because of the stirring words printed on them: Justice, equality, freedom and liberty.
I have not written much about these issues because I have been unable to find my words around or through them. I could write more readily about anger, injustice, racism or suppression. That’s because what I desire to write about most is the sadness and sorrow I can not shake.
I am deeply distressed that every second of every day children are orphaned by disease, women are widowed by conflicts, families are devastated by natural disasters and refugees are relocated to new countries. I am deeply shaken that the roots of racial prejudice run so deep it is difficult to imagine a world without it. The world has done such a good job of teaching and fostering suspicion, fear and hate between people of varied backgrounds. If you want to spark a lively discussion just ask a group a people where they stand on immigration issues. That’s when the ideals of justice, equality, freedom and liberty get hazy.
Sitting comfortably in my living room, I could always fall back on “How can I change the injustices around the world if I can’t even impact the ones in my own backyard?”
Despite my sadness, I know what to do. God has whispered the answer to me, softly and gently, “Just follow your calling.” You see my heart’s desire, my calling is to know God and make Him known.
I have been called to reclaim my world for Christ – my little piece of it, anyway. How that is facilitated looks different every day.
Daily, I need to point my focus towards Jesus. Daily, like Jesus, I desire to reach the hearts of those around me and connect with them on a soul level. Daily, I crave modeling for others the heart of a woman whose focus is on Him.
Appropriate words, healing words, redeeming words, resurrecting words should flow out of my mouth. The words of those who point me towards God are always welcome. Prayerful words are lifted up for those who seek to bring these four ideals into the dark places of the world – yes, even into my city, my heart because injustice, anger and sorrow live there, also.
Proverbs 3:3 says, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Oh, if it could only be that easy. I have built bridges, but I have also burned them down. I have been both cowardly and brave. I have followed God even when others do not see why I chose this path. It is sometimes difficult to speak redeeming words, but in that I am building endurance.
Haven’t you battled the same thoughts? We are all works in progress, yet already by the grace of God, amazing God, He see the beauty in us even when all we see is the dirtiness of the world. He will do great things through us – acts that bring justice, equality, freedom and liberty. He’ll put those redeeming, resurrecting words in our mouths as long as our faithfulness to Him never leaves.