As I sit down to write this, wondering where to begin, I realize I can hardly hear myself think. It’s our pet praying mantis crunching on a cricket in the terrarium. I stopped trying to write & observed the crickets. There were dead crickets, a dozen or so others chirping & one being devoured alive. I thought it would be compassionate for me to try to catch a cricket & save it from its inevitable demise. Well, if I did manage to catch one & get it out, I’m sure that praying mantis would already have another cricket in its grasp. Nope, there would be no justice for those crickets unless I squashed that praying mantis.
Ok, so where am I going with this…This month’s focus is on the topic of Social Justice. I did a Google search to see how many verses there were in the bible about “justice” and I lost count at 67. It seems justice is a pretty big deal to God & likewise it should be a big deal to us.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
We, as image bearers of Christ, are called to “do” justice. How can we do that though? The problem of social justice around the globe is overwhelming. How can we even begin to think to do anything to help in what looks like such a hopeless situation? I have a few thoughts I’d like to share. I’m not an authority, I’m just a mom burdened by the call “to do justice” with a heart for people living in the margins.
I think the number one thing we can do is to do SOMETHING. I myself am guilty of wanting to do something to help and then getting distracted by life. Maybe your “something” is volunteering. I live in Lomita, so I picked “Community’s Child”, an organization that provides services to homeless women and their children. Google the city you live in & search for organizations. Pick one & find out how you can help, if not physically perhaps financially and/or prayerfully. Maybe your “something” is reading, researching & educating yourself so you can share with others & open their eyes. We as the body of Christ all have different talents God has blessed us with. Maybe your “something” is something I can’t even think of because that is God’s purpose for you.
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:17
Another way I believe we as women can help create change is in our home, the way we raise our children. Our children know what’s important in life and what our priorities are by our example. I believe in sharing these issues with our children at an age appropriate level. My older sons know what goes on in the 26 massage parlors in our neighborhood. The world is desensitizing young men and I felt the obligation to counter those messages by educating them on human trafficking and the fact that women, humans, are NEVER a commodity to be bought and sold. For my younger children our focus has been homelessness. Get to know the homeless people in your area. We have Harry. He is an elderly gentlemen in a wheelchair whose spot is in front of the .99 Cent Store. We bring him water and groceries and talk to him. I think it’s important to ask them their name. Not only because they deserve the dignity of a name and being counted as a person but so that your kids can pray for them by name. Humans need touch like they need food and water. When I talk to Harry I hold his hand and come to his eye level. Now I don’t suggest we have our children go around hugging homeless strangers, but I think it is important for our children to see us model compassion and love. Because Harry is made in God’s image too and as such he has intrinsic value. Harry’s name is written on the palm of God’s hand just like yours. Just like mine. I think it’s vital we include our kids when we choose foods to donate to a food bank. I have my kids look at the labels to make healthy choices. Because a homeless or impoverished women’s children deserve healthy food just as much as my own children. We take our kids on mission trips and serve at community outreaches as many of you do. I don’t want my kids to think that it’s special or different to participate in those sorts of things. I want it to be woven into the fabric of their lives, so that it is there second nature. I want to raise them to internalize the scriptures that speak to seeking justice & helping the widow and orphan. As an expression of our faith. Who knows? Maybe, if it’s God’s plan for them they will help “squash” some of the praying mantises of this world…
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. Proverbs 31:8-9