Monday, September 16, 2013

A Cry for Justice

Sometimes, God lays on our hearts a cry for justice. My friend Ginger Coakley works for Set Free, which is a grassroots movement to abolish modern-day slavery. You may have read her guest post on my blog back in May. If you’ve ever talked to Ginger, you know that she is passionate about seeing people around the world freed from the bondage of oppression.

This summer, I began reading everything I could get my hands on that was written by Jen Hatmaker. Her books shook my world and spoke my heart. She is crying out for those in poverty, for the ones wracked by homelessness and hunger in her city of Austin, Texas.

Last year, I had the privilege of hearing Jim Anderson speak. His mission is to uncover the sexual assault on our modern-day culture and see people freed from the chains of sexual sin.

All of these causes make my heart ache. Why must they exist? For one simple reason: we live in a world that is affected by sin, oppressed by darkness, and temporarily in the hands of the one who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.

And yet, this isn’t a hopeless case. In fact, the solution is quite clear. In fact, we, the church, are given basic instructions throughout the Bible, which can be nicely summarized in this verse from Isaiah: “Learn to do right. Seek justice. Encourage the oppressed. Speak up for the fatherless. Plead the case of the widow" (1:17).

We are the answer. Not because the church has it all together or because we’ve been elevated to some higher perfection. Not even a little bit. But we are the answer because within us is the Holy Spirit. We have the power of the living, loving, perfect, holy God living inside of us, and we have been given the responsibility to unleash that power into the darkness.

What’s the cry in my heart? Young girls enslaved by the notion that they have to be exactly who society says they should be: perfect, skinny, sexual, independent.

I have a five-year-old daughter. In five to six years, I’m going to see her struggle with the injustice of societal expectations on her body, her personality, and her relationships. I cannot allow that to happen. At all cost, I will protect her from those assaults, from the manufacturers that tell her she’s not good enough unless she buys this; the media that says she’s not good enough unless she looks like this; the peers that tell her she’s not good enough unless she acts like this.

The desires that every girl has to belong, to be loved, to be beautiful? Those are good. Those are natural. And there’s a proper way to fill those longings—through the affirmations of the natural father and the Heavenly Father.

I know at this point I sound like a broken record, but this is why I believe so much in the Shine Movement. We’re not just about a two-day conference. We’re not even just about teaching girls how to be performers that “stay away from bad things.”

We’re about bringing the injustices of our societal expectations against girls to light.

We are aiming to shift culture and teach girls to shine in the way they were created.

We are a movement.

No comments:

Post a Comment