Weary of Injustices – Ann Voskamp


Carly here!

Last weekend my social media feeds were aflutter with images and quotes from the #Justice15 Conference in Chicago. I knew several people that attended, and most of the speakers were household names to me (and maybe to you) as well. Ann Voskamp was one of the featured speakers for the one-day affair, and she offered up a post on her blog this past week that included several quotes from this thought-provoking conference. I cannot think of a topic more relevant to our culture right now.


When You’re Kinda Weary of All the Injustices

Somebody’s own son got profiled because of the colour of his skin…

And a girl got stripped and taken and trafficked in the dark….  and when I got waved up to the customs officer, he looked me in the eye and asked me where are you going?

Okay, so you tell me —

Where do you bother going in a world that’s lost and turned around around and knotted up in a holy mess of pain?

I wanna tell him that we’re all done with going down dead end streets and turning the other way. We all refuse to go be ostriches and stick our heads in the sand.

The Justice Conference. Auditorium Theatre. Downtown Chicago.”

The customs officer at the airport scans my passport, looks right into me and says it slow because he’s seen a thousand things:

Justice? Look, you can conference all you want, but it ain’t ever gonna happen, lady.”

I care much about Justice because I care much about the Gospel,” is what Eugene Cho said when he walks across the #Justice15 stage and that’s the only answer that I’ve got for anybody saying justice ain’t ever gonna happen.

Justice is part of the full scope of the gospel— it’s part of who Jesus is.”

“Just like we shouldn’t extract the character of “love” or “grace” or “holiness” from God’s character, such must be the case with justice. We must not just seek justice but live justly.Justice work and just living are part of our discipleship.”

Justice is not a fad and it is not a trend. Justice must be a part of our worship of God. Justice is worship.” Eugene Cho, #Justice15

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A woman’s being held by Boko Haram right now, her children starving, her body abused and seen as a tool for men’s twisted wants. There’s a kid in L.A. looking for food in a dumpster out behind some rundown greasy hole in the wall. A tired runaway in some bus stop’s getting lured into some gas guzzler by a pimp.

Everyone loves justice — until there’s a cost. And there is always a cost to justice,” Eugene Cho says that to the thousands of us gathered in Chicago to wrestle with the call to justice.

There is a cost to justice — but there’s a far higher cost to living a life of comfortable apathy. 

There’s a far higher cost than living a life of risk and advocacy and generosity and justice— there’s the cost of living a life of convenience and meaninglessness and materialism.

If you are going seek the kingdom of God — you must overcome your addiction to comfort,” is what Neichelle Guidry said.

We can’t afford to say we’re about Jesus —and not be willing to pay the cost of pursuing justice. 15.8 million children lived in food-insecure households in 2013 in the United Statesof America. 1.2 million children are trafficked every year around the globe. More than 19,000 children in the United States alone aged out of the foster care system last year with no permanent families to call their own.

You may be known for your opinions, but you will be remembered for your love,” Bob Goff stands there at the mic in his neon socks. “A life of justice means constant interruptions.”

And I want to take off my shoes too, feeling like we’re all on holy ground here, like none of us are playing games here:

Maybe that means life plans being interrupted by a child’s needs…

Maybe that means schedules being interrupted by a phone call to someone you avoid…

Maybe that means let your days be interrupted by the the needy — and don’t call that frustrating, but call it living the gospel.

 “Perhaps it’s not enough to have a heart in the right place. Perhaps you actually need to do something,” Neichelle Guidry’s call reverberates like hope.

Maybe it’s not enough to have your heart in the right place —maybe you have to get your feet and your hands and your bent and willing back in the right place. A flyer came in the mail today, looking for volunteers to help out at the local food pantry.

We start moving things around in this house so we have an extra room with a bed, an Emmaus Room — a room for someone to come in and stay with us and for us to recognize Jesus in them.

Right after lunch, another farmer’s wife shows up at our back door with a mason jar full of blooming lupins and a mile-wide smile and two words: “Just because.” We talk in our messy kitchen, me in yoga pants and a t-shirt and her leaking Jesus’ love all over. Never underestimate the ministry of presence and the ministry of flowers.

The great challenge for our generation is not whether we’ll do justice but whether we’ll do it with joy,” Eugene Cho let his words settle into us. We get to do this. We get to listen better, we get to be interrupted more, we get to give lavishly, we get to “get out of the bubble… because we need all hands on deck.” Louis Dooley

We get to pick up our phones before today is over and ask someone who’s easily ignored, easily dismissed, easily forgotten, easily disliked — to come over before this week is over.

Because: “Charity is simply giving someone crumbs off your table. Justice is giving someone a seat at your table.” Jenny Yang  #Justice15

Who doesn’t want that? Who doesn’t want to be part of that invitation — because: “We must accept the invitation to desegregate our lives.” Austin Channing #Justice15

Because the opposite of poverty is not wealth, it’s communityStephen Bauman  #Justice15…. and it’s time to desegregate our lives and eradicate poverty by actively creating real and diverse communities, communities that are known by their “bravery, humility, empathy, diversity for those with whom we disagree.” Jonathan Merritt  #Justice15

There’s deep lament over racial injustices that weep in my FB stream. My ache joins the current. There’s a culture of outrage that’s so loud it’s tempting to grow deaf — and lose the ability to hear the crying of the hurting.

And I sit with it: “In the work of reconciliation, there is no us and them, there is just us.” Lynne Hybels #Justice15 

Maybe there could be no culture wars and finger pointing — but there could be cease fires to anger and a culture waging love and us all reaching out and lacing our fingers together in prayer.

Maybe there could be a “radical gentleness in the air”? Cornel West  #Justice15

Maybe justice could start around our tables, with the people under our roof, with the people we struggle to like let alone love: We refuse to be enemies, we will only speak words that make souls stronger, we will speak tenderly because:


{Images courtesy of A Holy Experience}

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