It finally feels as though summer might be on it's way in Seattle. The days have been warmer and the clouds have blown over without dropping much rain. It is fairly safe to leave the house in only a light sweater or jacket now!
Recently at church the teaching has been from the minor prophets. Some of my favourite OT books! This past Sunday the message was about 'painting the colours of hope.' It was a look at the book of Micah including the much quoted (especially on mission trip team T-shirts!) Micah 6:8 "the Lord has already told you what is good, and this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God" (NLT)
There is not one part of that little verse that isn't a huge challenge to me. Each time I see that someone is preaching about that verse I imagine that I cannot possible learn anything new from it. And perhaps there is an element of truth to that - but until I am living a lifestyle that is embracing my call in these three areas I will always feel the Holy Spirit tugging my heart to action.
My Pastor said that as we live out these principles, and let them become a part of the fabric of our lives we begin to "Fill the canvas of our broken world with the colours of hope" Isn't that beautiful? I want to be painting a picture of hope and love and justice with my life.
It is such a full command. Today I want to think about the first part, "to do what is right" or as it written in other translations "to act justly." I confess that this is an area that is lacking in my life. I can say that I love justice and want justice, but what actions in my life really support my claim? I can sign my name on a petition to end child slavery or human trafficking but that feels to easy. That feels like something I should do just because I am human, but because I am a follower of Christ my life should read like a different book. Instead of just signing my name I want to be seeking out opportunities to love those who have been subjected to injustice, or for whom the world can be a harsh, unfair place.
It is a verse that echos the call we have to love to widows and the orphans. A call which feels particularly close to home as we begin to consider the way God may be shaping our family in the future. So many kids are without families. So many who don't have someone to love them. It truly breaks my heart. I have many moments when I just want to fill our home with children that just need love, need a mum and Dad - and maybe one day we will...but we trust God will speak loudly if that is the case.
In the mean time, my call to love justice is still very much alive. No excuses. I am praying that God gives me a clear vision for how this will look in my life. I am aware that I am not always the best time keeper and sometimes this type of conviction can lead to a knee jerk response that leaves me totally over-committed and overwhelmed. I want to be intentional. To step out of my comfort zone, and into this essential expression of my faith. I do not want to do it our of guilt or burden. I want to do it because it is a way I can love my Jesus.
And in my every day life, I can make conversation with the elderly gentleman who walks around the lake by our house and is always looking for someone to chat to, I can check on my elderly neighbour and make sure she is doing ok. I can sit next to the crazy person on the bus, I can talk to the 'Real Change' seller as I buy my copy and I can ask God every day to open my eyes to those around me who need someone to talk to or who needs help.
I pray that this will not be something that lays stagnant in my life. It's up to me to make that happen. And I know from experience that when I take my eyes off myself and look into the eyes of someone else, my problems have less control over how I feel about my life. The purpose of my life become re-focused and falls back into alignment with the purpose God has given me. I am here to bring justice to the world in a way that reflects who Jesus is. I can be painting the colours of hope over the world around me.