Justice, Kindness, and Time with God
And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8
Most of yesterday was spent in two meetings. The first was an organization meeting of sorts with Circles, USA (https://www.circlesusa.org/), a community based organization designed to help reduce poverty and remove the barriers that stand in the way of that goal. This program is reaching out to local government officials, businesses, and faith organizations. The goal is to have it up and running by November or December. They are looking for what they call Allies to walk with people for 18 months through the program and to have groups volunteer to sign up for one month and serve a meal once a week.
I followed that up by attending the HARC meeting. At that meeting we discussed how HARC could help faith communities work together, how we could support children in the community, how we could work for justice and equality for those who are not treated equally or as less-than, and how we might help each other create stronger houses of worship. I also had a brief conversation with the chaplain at Meritus who said that, because of the shift in how Meritus runs their Spiritual Care Department, they are looking for people willing to be trained as volunteer chaplains.
When I got back to the office I had three messages waiting for me from people who needed financial assistance of one kind or another. And after a few other tasks that needed to get done, it was time for Evening Prayer.
I mention all this not to complain about how yesterday went, but as a reminder.
Doing justice is difficult work and seems never-ending. The work to help people escape poverty is ongoing. The work we do, both with ourselves and in our organizations, toward racial equality and other aspects of unjust systems is ongoing. It is also tiring. It can be exhausting. It is also work the Lord requires us to do.
There are days when the pleas for financial assistance seem never-ending and they come back to back to back. Sometimes it's easy to get frustrated with those requesting help. It's almost always painful to have to turn someone away or come to terms with the fact that I can only help in limited ways. But I must always remember that these people by simply by the nature of their humanity and divinity deserve to be treated with kindness.
And finally, at the end of the day, no matter how difficult the struggle for justice, or how often my patience has been tested, I still need to make time to pray.
Doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with the Lord are not three separate things, but three things intertwined. To do justice means to love kindness; and doing those things over and over again can wear us out. So it's vitally important to remember to walk humbly with the Lord and allow him to have a space in your life.