deepening the soul for justice {week 5}

Oh, I loved this section (“Open,” p. 20-25). So so much. I can’t remember the exact moment I realized there were still slaves in our world, but that fact ended up changing my life forever.

I didn’t know then that one day I would walk through a former child brothel or that I’d hold a beautiful four-year-old boy on my lap with the horrific knowledge that he’d been raped by a pedophile.

And while a big part of me wants to be back in Cambodia fighting this evil and injustice from those front lines Bethany writes about, I know that, for this moment, God wants me “never underestimating the power of the simple steps of faith and obedience we take each day.” (p. 21)

I feel her pain of not wanting her heart to get too invested, not wanting to make her life more messy that it already was. I can relate to her mind and heart breaking open a little bit more each time she chose to put the crippling reality of modern-day slavery in front of her eyes. (p. 22)

And I LOVE her words of wisdom on p. 23. “I needed to intentionally translate the overwhelming information I was absorbing, to force the brutal facts to submit to the overriding reality of hope in the God of justice.”

And this: “In small ways each day God brought me more and more of the biblical framework of hope that I so desperately needed to sustain my fledgling passion to fight trafficking.”

She needed roots (WE need roots), and God dug them for her (like he’ll do for us).

And she needed community (WE need community). All of us working together (in real-life, online, wherever we are).

“All the body of Christ is called to be the Spirit-filled community that surrounds, supports, inhabits, and propels the river of justice God is seeking to unleash.” (p. 24)

No questions this week, but I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts. So thankful to be seeking the God of justice with all of you. xoxoxo

8 thoughts on “deepening the soul for justice {week 5}

  1. Kristin

    I liked this chapter too. Underlined a lot. Along with the lines that have already been repeated, I’ll add:

    “Each choice we make, every day, has the power to sustain and move us closer to hearing and seeing and knowing God, or to draw us farther away. God’s grace is abundant over all missteps, but it is still so important to recognize that sometimes our pursuit of the ‘big’ steps can distract us from the crucial small steps that will most effectively form us and draw us with deeper and longer effectiveness into the very mission we seek to serve.” (p.21-22)

    I relate to paralysis when confronted with these issues, fear of getting too involved, of it getting messy, of not having time for these “interruptions” in my life……missing roots…..faithfulness is not a hierarchy of proximity to whatever we think are the frontlines, but living out our gifts in a BODY….no part works in isolation, all parts are made to need the others…the importance of discovering what our part is….

    “If we commit to the practice of listening intently both to the ways God is moving in this world and to the ways God is speaking through His Word, the reality is that at some point God is going to enable us to know the call on our own lives with increasing and even daily, step-by-step conviction. Scripture itself brings great clarity about the character and purposes of God, as well as for the decisions we face in our daily lives…..Our daily, intentional openness and pursuit of God will bring the deepening and clarifying of our soul’s conviction that is so necessary for persevering in the work of justice to be done in our world.”

  2. Rachelle

    Hi Marla,
    My confession is I am not participating in this read-a-long. The reason being I feel helpless when is comes the particular issue of human slavery and trafficking. I’ve known I can give, pray and care.

    In my itty bitty community this issue is non-existent…except it really does exist and I had a vivid dream last night about this issue and God told me, in the dream, that it’s time for me to help the women trapped by human slavery. My prayer today is that the Lord will lead me to the places where I can be his hands and feet.

    1. Marla Taviano

      You’re not helpless, friend. Don’t ever believe that lie. For one thing, your name has been spoken in Cambodia by some amazing people you’ve helped in an incredible way. I’ll never forget that. Love you much. Praying for this.

  3. Andrea

    “One simple step has literally shifted the direction of my life.” Hmmm. Made me think about my own life steps and direction.

    “I feared letting my heart get too invested. I feared that getting involved would make my life messier than it already was.” YES. I have let fear of this and other things get in the way too many times.

    “Justice is the work of community. It cannot be pursued alone.” YES. BIG YES. Huge lesson and struggle for me here.

    “When it’s more important to save the life of a tree [or home, job, money, reputation, etc] than the life of a child, we have twisted values.” Beth Moore (from the Daniel study I am doing with my Bible study ladies)

  4. Teresa

    I too was moved by the following statements that you quoted:
    on p. 23. β€œI needed to intentionally translate the overwhelming information I was absorbing, to force the brutal facts to submit to the overriding reality of hope in the God of justice.”
    And this: β€œIn small ways each day God brought me more and more of the biblical framework of hope that I so desperately needed to sustain my fledgling passion to fight trafficking.”

    For me and I am sure many others justice may seem like a job for others…those who have connections or aren’t afraid to speak out or those that are bold…I never see myself like that. And so I sit and am happy there are others out there who do it….and then am secretly jealous that it is not me. Reading this study has helped me see that the foundation for fighting any type of unjust actions whether it be sex trafficking, abuse, rape, abandonment, or whatever it might be…is prayer, community, and faith. Learning how to plant our feet in the Word and prayer and the truth is where God wants us. And when things don’t go right and we want to retreat and cover our head in the covers while the enemy tells us we aren’t going to help, we need to go back to that truth and know that God calls us to seek justice. That is why Bethany’s book is so great. She points us to the truth and to build a foundation in prayer and relationship with the Lord. This study has also shown me that slavery and justice comes in all types of formats. And we don’t always see it. God will open our eyes to the place He wants to plant our passion and from there through “biblical framework” we can do the part that God has chosen for us.

    I get passionate and angry and all fired up when I see girls and women bound by eating disorders and self hate and shame…and I know that this is the justice God wants me to fight.

    Blessings, Teresa

    1. Marla Taviano

      I know we don’t know each other in real life, friend, but I’ve gotten lots of glimpses of your heart, and I agree 100% that you’ve found the injustice you’re supposed to be fighting. You can do this. I know you can. Thanks for all of your encouragement. xoxo

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