How to Use Your Voice to Speak Justice Where You Are

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In Amos 5:24, when the prophet Amos called for justice to roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream, that justice wasn’t selective. God’s work to make all things whole doesn’t involve only correcting those who aren’t on our side of the aisle. God’s justice wasn’t just for our brand of oppressors, those who keep our brand of truth from going forth. No—God’s justice will flow to and on behalf of everyone. We cannot escape it. We will not be able to avoid our own crooked ways being made straight right alongside all the others we hoped to see corrected.

God includes all of us in the work of wholeness.

That means, one day we will all be held accountable for our participation in God’s work, not just for the things we said in the face of injustice but also for what we didn’t say. We’ll be held accountable both for those we protected and for the vulnerable we chose to ignore. We’ll see justice enacted not only for us but in us. This reality should cause us to tremble, to reconsider our ways, to pay attention to the places where God is working and we are avoiding.

Yes, no matter the part we choose to play, God is still God, and God’s work moves forward. God will still be for the widow and orphan, the vulnerable children, the poor, those without food and shelter. He will still be for the marginalized and mistreated in society: women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, the unfairly incarcerated, and the unborn. He will be for Indigenous peoples and the lands upon which they lived, for immigrants, refugees, those in the disability community. He’ll be for the outcasts and the downcast, for you and for me.

Justice will go forth in ways we haven’t even considered. God’s work of restoration will move to the ends of the earth.

Justice will be complete.

Light will shine in the darkness.

Yet it still matters how we choose to live. Salvation is an invitation to participate, a call forward to join God in God’s Kingdom work. God has given us a voice and a place to use it.

And the reality is, someone needs your voice. Maybe just a couple of people around a picnic table or a kid in the back of your car—but God has a purpose and a path for you in the work of renewal, in the middle of the life you’re already living.

The steps you take won’t always be big. Sometimes, the next step will be quite small: one steady inch forward at a time. The work will not always be fast. Sometimes, it will be quite slow as you adjust to the gusty winds of adversarial forces. Sometimes, what you do won’t be up high for all to see. Sometimes, it’s low and ordinary.

Whatever you do, walk the line laid out for you. Run the good race—yours and no one else’s. Step into the hope that comes alongside the courage required to say good. You may stumble, you may even fall, but don’t miss out on the journey. The next generation will want to know, will need reminders of how it’s done.

Certainly, there will be some who we leave behind as we walk. For many, the risk of staying will outweigh the risk of going. But hopefully when we reach our destination, we’ll find that we’re still face-to-face with our fellow travelers: people we love, people who were cheering us on, people we never thought we’d stick it out with, people we didn’t think would stick with us.

Yes, the chasms will be there as long as we live, but that’s not the grace in this story.

God’s miraculous grace is that as we choose to walk across, choose to talk across tensions and heights . . .

. . . somehow, chasms turn into bridges.

Each of us has been handed a legacy to carry forward with our voices. Yes, sometimes silence has its place. But writer Angie Thomas in her book, The Hate You Give, makes it plain: What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be? Don’t let fear keep you quiet. Do the work to prepare your voice to speak. Step forward boldly when the time comes. Then pass it on.

An Exercise in Finding Your Voice

Here is one way to prepare: Write a living eulogy—what you hope will be said about you and your voice in the world. What does this perspective affirm or reveal—not only about what or who you care about in the world but about your character and how your life uniquely lends itself to the work of all things being made new?

1 thought on “How to Use Your Voice to Speak Justice Where You Are”

  1. This article was so good for me to read! It made me stop and consider what and how, I am doing in my life for God and his kingdom!


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