Sunday, September 20, 2009

chasing justice

It all seemed so clear after attending the community organizer training last year:
1) doing justice is our God-given call
2) because doing justice requires changing systems, whether religious, political and/or economic, we can't do it alone
3) therefore, we need to organize people to do justice by engaging them, being in relationship with them, identifying their self-interest and finding common ground.

I tried to bring these principles back to Peace and share them. I know I am lacking in the interpersonal department, but I have felt like the more I pursued justice, the more elusive it became and the more I shared my convictions about doing justice, the more I repelled folks instead of attracting them to the cause.

I wonder, what am I doing wrong?

In Everything Must Change, Brian McClaren makes perfect sense as he lays out the roots of human suffering in the systems we have embraced and how Jesus responded to those systems during his lifetime, but what to do and where to go next with all this information is kind of vague. It turns out everything is way more than I can handle.

In The Irresistible Revolution, Shane Claiborne makes pursuing justice by living the simple way sound a lot easier than it is for me, but then I'm pretty sure he started chasing justice when he was young and single.

In Justice in the Burbs, the authors themselves feel they failed in doing justice right where I live, with my family in the burbs.

So am I chasing justice or just chasing my tail? I know I'm on the verge of having some sort of rash reaction and yet the passion to do this thing called justice won't seem to leave me alone.

Maybe it's time I got back to the basics:

What is justice?

What do I have to offer?

What am I missing?

Where do I need to step it up and where do I need to step back?

I'm hoping to find a few more answers than questions with some others in a book study of Justice in the Burbs. I'll be posting my thoughts from this weekly study, so you can check back and see if I've had a meltdown or finally seen the light at the end of the tunnel.

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