These past few months have seemed especially heartbreaking. Every day, there seems to be yet another tragedy that comes up on the news, and my Facebook/Twitter feeds are littered with articles about injustices happening in our own country and all around the world.
I have found myself struggling in the two extremes. On one end, I wish to engage fully with the issues — to thoroughly research, fact-check, take part in dialogue and/or action to participate in alleviating just someone [aka savior mentality]. On the opposite end, I wish to disengage and turn off all the news, wishing that when I clicked on my Facebook homepage I would hear good news for once, and not another example of how depraved human beings truly are. I realized that with any extremes, neither are healthy nor sustainable ways of engaging in a justice-centered life. As a singular small person, trying to “save the world” (or attempt) is foolish and arrogant. So is remaining apathetic and wishing to separate from pain and suffering.
My struggle has been knowing that my faith in God compels me to care for the brokenhearted, the needy, the widows and orphans, and the oppressed. How do I wrestle to fight for the voiceless without trying to be Jesus? How do I let Justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream? The restless tug that pulls for me to not stand still and be a bystander to the struggles my fellow humans and children of God face churns within me.
The answers have not all revealed themselves yet, and maybe they will never be fully revealed for this time on earth. But in the meantime, in this season, I am learning how to simply lament and mourn when faced with injustices. That there is a time appropriate for weeping and sorrowful knowing how weak and broken this world is. In the lamenting I am learning to seek how hope & joy reveals themselves, to dance and rejoice not because I am happy, but because that is how perseverance is developed. To seek joy despite the pain, anger, and hurt. Without the lament + joy, there is no hope for reconciliation. I hope that as I learn how to seek reconciliation and stand in the face of injustice, I can be part of change and not further the cycles of oppression.
Learn this lesson well, my friend
There’s a time to rejoice and lament
Every season will find an end
All will fade and be made new again