I’m leaving the justice movement.
No, I haven’t given up. I haven’t stopped caring. I certainly haven’t forgotten the voiceless, the captives, or the oppressed. I won’t stop speaking out and doing what I can to make a difference.
I just don’t want to be part of a “movement” anymore. I don’t want to be part of a cause. Instead, I want to see things actually move. More specifically, I want to see people move toward the heart of God.
There is an alarming trend among those who take on the fight against human trafficking—or any social justice issue, really. The “fight” becomes such a key part of the narrative. The fight becomes our identity. Offense is often excused because we feel it is justified. We become entrenched in duking it out with darkness. But darkness was soundly defeated on a Roman cross 2,000 years ago. Rather than fighting a defeated foe, I want to model living in the light. I want to model freedom and hope.
Thankfully there are many already doing this and we love partnering with them. We want to focus on restorative justice, not retribution. On His extravagant love, and not on the fear generated by darkness.
Especially, we want to focus is on what He can do, and not what we can’t do.
Anyone who has been exposed to the harsh realities of human trafficking, particularly child sex trafficking, can’t help but feel provoked. It is heartbreaking and, at times, soul crushing. There is much at stake. While it’s absolutely true that darkness has already met its ultimate defeat, we haven’t yet fully apprehended the victory Jesus won. A very real battle continues to rage. Tragically, many individual battles—and lives—have been lost. There is still much to do. We shouldrespond passionately and persistently.
But let’s make sure we’re spending our energy in the right way and on the right things.
I love this quote from an artist friend, Aeron Brown. I was interviewing him for an article in Voices of Justice (the magazine I edit) and I asked him if he had any advice for creatives and other frontline workers who wanted to have long-term impact in areas of social injustice. This is what he said:
“Get heaven’s perspective on those issues. So many people want to run after a movement, or a cause, or an organization and you end up with a narrow vision. You can become so encompassed in your own hurt over an issue that your voice becomes muffled. It’s still a voice, but it’s a voice filtered through pain. You have to be grounded in the love of God, otherwise you end up with an agenda. If you don’t live like a much-loved child, the cause and the call will burn you out. The ones who don’t grow weary are the ones who know who they are and why they’re doing what they’re doing.”
To that I say “amen!” along with a heartfelt prayer that more and more of us will remember who we are and why we’re doing what we’re doing. When we do, I suspect many more will be ready to leave the movement behind!
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” -Galatians 6:9 NLT
Father, I ask for an increased revelation of identity and purpose to be released upon Your people. Keep us secure in Your love so we don’t lose heart. Instead of being part of a movement, may we move in alignment with Your heart so that each of us will fulfill our unique role in the transformational move of Your Spirit being released upon the earth. -Amen!
By Cindy Powell, October 2018 (Note: originally published on the Extreme Love Ministries Blog Sept 20, 2018Tt
The Journey to Justice is a regular devotional feature of Voices of Justice published with the goal of imparting encouragement and the grace to persevere to those on the frontlines in the fight against human trafficking. If you would like to submit a piece for either our blog or quarterly magazine, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org