There are myriad concerns in our world today,
So many we find our thoughts run astray,
But to what does God call every woman and man?
It’s simple, really; we act where we can.
Plenteous are feelings that rip our hearts apart,
Of injustice and greed of those without heart,
How are we to reconcile the issues of grace?
It’s simple, really; we seek God’s face.
Wondering aloud within the privacy of our minds,
In this, God will help us sort out our binds,
Again, to what does God call every woman and man?
It’s simple, really; we do what we can.
The issues of social justice are poignant and pressing on a Christian’s mind. Mindful Christians cannot help reading their Bibles with hearts split asunder for the injustices that played out in biblical times, because of thought for the same injustices that play out today.
This can leave us with a very heavy burden, especially if we are confused about what God is calling us to. There are at least two courses for social justice, which, for the purposes of this article, is a verb and not a noun: social justice is not a name, it’s about action.
The Action in Social Justice in Our Day-to-Day
There are things in life, in our day-to-day, that ought to inspire the social justice of action. When we see someone treated rudely, we don’t fight with the offender, but we ‘meet’ the offended, offering our support, encouragement, and love.
When we notice that things aren’t going well for someone, because they appear a little more distant, depressed or worried, we have the opportunity to give them not only our time, but our very selves. A true heart is beyond pretentious listening; it hears the groans and shrieks of the soul in distress. Such understanding transcends words.
There are so many day-to-day situations that we are called to act in—little situations and large, and all between—just because we are there.
The Specific Call of Social Justice For Our Lives
Not everyone has a particular call to go and serve in some foreign land to fight for the rampant injustices of a foreign culture in the name of Christ. Some do, but many don’t.
But there is still a specific call of social justice—where God calls us to action—for every human being. My particular call is the protection of the outlier; I hate it when people are excluded because of bigotry, prejudice, bullying, etc. The characterisation of my action is quiet but immediate. I believe in inclusiveness wherever possible.
We all know what social justice issues tug at our hearts. These occur without even a thought. They are more about instinct for right and wrong. So it is not difficult to know what God is calling us to do. We ought to do what we can do.
Social justice is truly a verb, not a noun: it’s something we do. It’s action-oriented. Where God’s Spirit leads us to make a difference we are blessed to obey. We are blessed, also, when we don’t let the devil make us feel guilty for the things we can’t or don’t do.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.