Welcome, Faithful Readers-Along!! (and if you haven’t joined our Read-Along, you still can! See details here.)
Today’s Discussion is on section 1: Transforming Justice (p. 7-10–just 4 pages so easy-peasy to catch up if you’re just starting or didn’t get a chance to read for today yet!)
I love the very first sentence of the book: “Seeking justice doesn’t begin at the door of a brothel. Seeking justice begins with seeking the God of justice.” It just makes me breathe a big sigh of relief. A place to start. Seeking the God who already cares more about justice than I ever could.
And here’s where I fight the temptation to write out every other sentence in this book. SO GOOD.
I love how she talks about transformation for real people vs. little more than good intentions. And how the difference is simple. It’s our daily starting point. Are we charging ahead in our own power, or are we seeking God first in prayer?
And here’s what’s really, really cool (especially those of us who are feeling emotionally depleted right now–this is me, raising my hand): Jesus wants to make our burden light. He offers us his light, easy yoke in exchange for our heavy one. We can cast our cares on him. He’s got this. Pressure’s off.
We come to him; he brings the justice. (Sigh of relief.)
A lot of you know we came back from five weeks in Cambodia in January 2012 all fired up and ready to move there long-term. And then a lot lot lot of stuff happened to prevent us from going.
One good thing that has come of all that? Lots and lots of hours on my knees (literally and figuratively) in prayer. Everything was stripped away, and praying was all I could do. Seems like a crappy place to be (and that’s how I’ve felt a lot of the time) but also a beautiful place to invite the God of justice to have his way.
I loooooove the phrase at the top of page 8–“that deeply satisfying joy-filled tiredness that comes from the worthy battles of justice.” Oh, how I love that kind of exhaustion. Tired feels soooooo good after you’ve done something amazing (right, Brooke and Pam, my 2 crazy-runner friends?).
I want to be worn out, spent. Just like that verse in Isaiah 58 says–“pour yourself out for the hungry.” Another version says, “spend yourself on behalf of the hungry.” We want to just give our all to the point of exhaustion. And when we do it after first spending time in prayer, God fills us back up with his never-ending supply of energy. When we do things on our own, that weariness will crush us.
Every last one of us has been called to the work of justice. EVERY LAST ONE OF US.
I love Bethany’s encouragement at the end of the section: “It is my prayer that this book will serve to draw you more deeply into a daily pursuit of God that permeates every aspect of your life. And as you grow to know God more with each day, I pray that God will daily lead you to better understand the specific ways you have been created and called to act in the face of injustice in our world today.”
“You are invited.”
Are you ready to accept the invitation with me, friends?
Questions to Ponder/Answer:
1. Is prayer easy or hard for you, and why? And do you have any tips for staying focused and having meaningful prayer time?
2. What do you feel called to pray for this week (either for yourself, others, or both)?
3. “Compassion fatigue” is what we call people getting burned out by doing justice (or sometimes just by reading/seeing a lot of injustice). I think the devil loves burnout. What are some ways we can prevent it from happening?
So looking forward to hearing from you, friends! And I’ll choose one random commenter to win a free copy of a really great book called Forgotten Girls: Stories of Hope and Courage. (I’ll draw the winner next week.)