Simone Weil wrote, “Justice is the active loving of our neighbors, especially those who are in affliction and may not be our equals.” Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” This is active love, not simply a passive kind feeling towards God, neighbor, and ourselves. In this season of COVID-19, centuries old patterns of injustice have been uncovered, racial, economic, and environmental, to mention a few. Injustice anywhere is ultimately injustice for all of it. It is the opposite of love. There is much work for people of faith to accomplish!
Drew Lanham, an ornithologist and professor at Clemson University in South Carolina. He said, “Joy is justice you give to yourself.” Creating space and time for joy is perhaps the best fuel for the work ahead. That happened to a small group of women from church who gathered virtually on Thursday afternoon. We used Lanham’s quote as a jumping off place, and for an hour, carved out of a busy week, we shared our ideas, our experiences, our fears, our fatigue, and our hope. Joy just about jumped out of our monitors into our hearts. We had a Psalm 126 moment, solace and fuel for the journey ahead.
Psalm 126:1-3 puts justice and joy together. “When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.”
Find space for community, for sharing in a safe place, for telling your stories. It is a gift, and fuel, for the days ahead.
For God’s sake, don’t let anything steal your active love and joy of God, neighbor, and self. ~ Anne
These meditations are provided as a ministry in this time of pandemic as a ministry of St. Paul’s U. C. C.