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.