Headlines from First Thoughts

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Secret Justice

Lent gives us the opportunity to work secretly—behind the scenes—to do justice. For these six weeks, we go backstage to carry out Jesus’ commands to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the imprisoned. This kind of work is happening in Macon County, Tennessee. While other agencies have backed off, Christian people are going to work to do justice and to bring hope. Here’s one first hand account from our own Sharon Vandergriff after she returned from one of the groups organized by 1B.

“We were in an area about 7-9 miles from the heart of town. The path of devastation was like all the things you hear and see about tornados – one house leveled and the neighbors, untouched. When we first arrived at our assigned location, I thought, there is nothing very fulfilling about picking up shingles, glass and every piece of debris imaginable in a pasture. I was amazed how my feelings changed over the course of the day. The surrounding area where we worked showed plenty of damage including nearby houses and a mobile home leveled to the foundation. We weren’t at the location of someone’s house - we were in a pasture with lots of tree damage and debris and the final resting spot for the partial contents of someone’s house. The occasion to walk over dried manure was a reminder that this pasture wasn’t home to people, but to other living things… Perhaps means to someone’s livelihood.

“I still can’t seem to get my head or my heart around the things I saw and felt yesterday. Many questions continue to race through my mind…ones that come without easy answers. Do you own your stuff or does your stuff own you? What prevents people from helping others? What is most important to me? If this happened to me, how would I respond…how would I feel? How do you pick up the pieces? If someone found the contents of my life in a field what would they be able to tell about me – what judgments would they make without ever knowing me? How do you pick-up the pieces and start to function? How do you learn to walk in shoes that don’t feel like your own? You find comfort in and through the support of people that will stick by you and help you on the journey.”

More teams are on their way to do justice until Easter weekend. Feel free to pass along this secret.

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