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My Journey to Justice

This journey of mine began in January when our pastor began a six week series of messages based on the book The Hole in the Gospel by Richard Stearns, CEO of World Vision.  The subtitle of this book is What Does God Expect of Us?   God answers that question in Micah 6:8:

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?

 

As I heard the stories and statistics of the poverty and disease that are so common around the world, I felt uncomfortable.  I’m a sensitive sort, and I don’t really like to hear about the seedy side of life.

This book and our pastor’s sermons forced me to see the extent of the suffering that is “out there” and both the book and the sermons challenged me.  As I thought of what I could do, I began to feel overwhelmed as if nothing I could contribute would make a difference.

When billions of people are starving and dying for want of a cup of clean water, what is $10 or $100 or even $1000 going to do to fill their stomachs or quench their thirst?  The inclination to throw up my hands and do nothing, to put the pictures of those brown faces and scrawny limbs and bloated bellies out of my mind was tempting, and would have been easier to do than I care to admit. But that’s not what I really wanted to do.  I wanted to do something, but I didn’t know what I could do that would make a difference.

This quote by Bob Pierce became my motto:

 “Don’t fail to do something just because you can’t do everything.”

When I feel overwhelmed with the vastness of the needs and with the complexities of the problems, I remind myself that justice and mercy and humility are personal. This journey to justice is about who I am.  Do I care more about myself than others?  Am I willing to sacrifice in order to see justice and mercy fall on those who are hurting?

This past weekend, I attended a women’s conference at a church in Ohio with my friend and her two daughters.  I enjoyed a fun time with friends, meaningful worship, challenging messages, and one very enlightening workshop about Radical Justice Everyday. 

I’m excited to share what I learned with all of you and with people around me.  I’m planning to begin by teaching the ladies in my Adult Bible Fellowship class about Fair Trade from a Biblical perspective.   Fair Trade is about so much more than coffee!  Fair Trade is about using our purchasing power to break the chains of slavery and exploitation.

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8 thoughts on “My Journey to Justice

  1. Very inspiring! I am impressed by Fair Trade and would like to see more Fair Trade products! Coffee is the main thing I buy Fair Trade as it is the most consistently imported product I buy.

    1. Betty, I am just now taking the plunge into fair trade coffee. I would love to see more products, too.

  2. Right with you! Thank you for taking on this subject and challenging us to live out Micah 6:8. While at Impact this past weekend, I was presented with this challenge and opportunity to put feet to the desire to make a difference in providing clean water for thousands of people. Check it out at http://www.humankindwater.org.

    1. Ginny, this is not the first time I’ve seen references made to that site. I will definitely check it out! That is an issue that is compelling as well.

  3. We just ordered our next batch of coffee and got all fair trade coffee. I cost a whopping $2.00 more per box than the kind I usually order.

    If you have a Kuerig machine and buy pods watch the boxes, because they are not all fair trade. I found that Folgers (shocking, I know) is NOT, and Green Mountain is only about 30% (the fair trade flavors are marked), but Newmans Own (delicious) IS! Caribou brand is as well…..If you are out and order coffee from Starbucks you have to actually request fair trade to be sure to get it, because it isn’t all fair trade.

    This is a fairly new venture for us as well, but we are committed to doing our share to be ‘just’ in our shopping habits. Our goal is to do no harm to others and honor Jesus in our choices. There are so many injustices in the world, it is tempting to throw up your hands and give up, but we are committed to this goal and are simply starting with what we know, learning about what we do not know, and making the necessary changes as we learn what is harmful and what is helpful.

    I say good for you for taking this on. I will look forward to learning more about this in your future posts!

  4. It is great you are buying fair trade, I buy as much fair trade product for my business as possible. Buying fair trade had helped create better conditions for the people working in these impoverished areas.

    Stephanie
    http://www.royalmajestea.com

  5. What an inspiring post! I’m here from the 100 comment event. 🙂
    I love the thought behind the quote…if we would all do what we can to help others, that would be a lot of helping…and many problems in the world would be eased.
    Hope you will stop by my blog: http://www.viviankirkfield.wordpress.com

  6. […] mentioned in an earlier blog post that I recently attended a workshop entitled Radical Justice for Today.  At that workshop I […]

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