I met with several members of my church community on Sunday. The purpose was to discuss the topic of homosexuality and the views of the church. We shared lunch, viewed a movie, “For the Bible Tells Me So”, and had discussion. It was time well spent.
I often find myself in leadership roles when it comes to advocating on behalf of an important issue. There is not a part of me that would want it any other way, but I have to say, it is tiring. Sure, at times it is tiring because of the multitude of tasks that I need to complete in order to schedule an event, or gather a group of people. But the tired I am speaking of here is being emotionally, soulfully tired.
When I talk about or advocate on behalf of someone, I put my full heart and soul into it. Actually, my heart and soul is pretty fully in just about everything that I do. So, the passion, energy and drive is there to inform, educate, listen actively, and engage in discussion. But, once the table is cleared, and the group is gone, I am totally spent. I am tired.
Fighting for justice is really a fight. Whether we envision it as picking up our arms and going into battle, or in gathering peacefully with hands clasped, it requires being prepared and bringing forth all of our resources. When speaking about justice issues, there are often many sides or opinions about what is fair, what is not. There is conflict and disagreement and dissent at times. I used to shirk away from conflict, due to not having the confidence, or the self-worth, to think that I could handle it. I know better than that now, in a big way.
I invite conflict, not so much in the form of anger or opposition, but in terms of disagreement. I enjoy dialoguing and helping to bring understanding where there is none. I l0ok forward to helping others, and myself, to understand how unfairly some groups of people are treated. And, it doesn’t matter if I am a member of the group or not. Justice is justice, and injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Although in my church is where I see the vision of the bread brought to life the most often, bread to me is a symbol of unity and likeness among us humans. You see, I believe that most of us mere humans want the same thing: to connect with one another, to love and be loved, to do good and to have good done for and to you. We are more similar to one another than we are different.
Of course, issues of justice don’t always get sorted out in that way; often they seek how we are different we are rather than how we are the same. That is why when I think about issues that surround diversity, or inequality, I always think of the word justice. Because it is a word that many of us can understand, and would be hardpressed to say that we don’t agree with.
So, my goal as a human being is to get as many of us around the table of bread and justice as we can, to share a meal and share a vision. To bring friends, family and community members and sit together and solve the problems of the world.
And, don’t worry. It’s a big table. There is room for all.