Annie asked me to say more about my definition of social justice and its part in Christianity. That’s a humongous challenge Annie! There are so many dimensions to the question. I’d like to focus on what God shows me, and what He calls me to do. I may not say much today about social justice and its part in Christianity, but I’ve got plenty to say about Christianity’s part in social justice!
I think God has asked me to hang out with people who have had things stolen from them. Think of all the people who have been enslaved, or struggle without water or food. Think of all the kids who struggle without parents. They’ve had things stolen from them, taken from them, and if you really want to get graphic, they’ve even had things raped from them. Think of what’s been taken from these girls that have been raped. They wind up in sex slavery and even their identities are stolen from them.
They don’t even know how to act sometimes! They don’t know how to be in the world. You see the effects of the anger that’s been pressed onto these young adults due to the situations they’ve been in, whether they’ve been stolen or trafficked. Think of these kids that don’t even have water. I mean, they’re living just to be in pain. What’s the point?
It grieves me so much. It is an injustice that these kids suffer in their bodies. But God shows us an even deeper injustice. These kids have been robbed of their dreams. These kids were destined to be children of God. They were destined to be someone great in this world, by reflecting the glory of the King. But how can they? Think of it. It’s so hard to reflect the glory of God when you are dying of thirst, or dying of hunger, or dying of disease. It’s so hard to reflect the glory of God when all day long you’re sent from one man to the next for payment, to let him have his way with you.
I want to do the very best I can to help these kids. You know what? If we can love appropriately, we can restore their dreams. We can restore them to who they are, and who they were born to be, and Who they were born to serve. They crave something they cannot find. Either it’s been taken from them, or they just can’t find it. I think that’s Jesus. I think that’s the whole reason He came. He came to restore humanity back to what He originally designed it to be, and that’s a culture of love and community and honor and respect and integrity.
The kind of injustice I describe here is happening to people of all ages, but it’s especially happening to our youth. And I believe that God has said, “This is where I would like you to focus. Restore love and joy to these kids.” Whether in this country or abroad, I want to help the younger generation to know that they are children of God. I want to help them to dream when dreams have been taken from them by these injustices. And I want to help them accomplish those dreams.
I believe this is what God calls us to do. He calls us to free the captives from the bondage of slavery, hunger and thirst. He calls us to restore the things that have been stolen from them, their identities, their destinies, their opportunities to dream. And He calls us to help them know and accomplish their destinies as His precious children. He calls us to restore them to Him by helping them to dream again. And that, I think, is Christian social justice.