Last month, our social media feeds began filling with images of protests and the outcry of millions of people advocating for justice. I was amazed by this and impressed that so many people were waking up to this issue in our lives. But my reaction wasn’t the only one. I had a few different friends who clearly carry the gift of reconciliation share with me that they were really struggling with social media. They felt shamed and peer-pressured into posting something even though they were doing the heart-work behind the scenes. They felt the need to explain their current silence as they prayed, interceded, mourned, and lived out reconciliation.
As I was texting one of my friends, I realized something that had been bugging me, but I hadn’t been able to identify: seeking justice is a marathon, not a sprint.
Last month, we were digging through my quarantine library which, thankfully, included a few books about this particular topic—talk about God’s strategic timing! I wondered as the protests escalated if I should stop this series and write content specifically about the current events, since they’re on everyone’s mind.
But it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
No matter what’s going on in our neighborhoods or nation’s capital or social media, we can and should live out justice every day. It doesn’t matter what the trending hashtags are today, because the church is called to be a place for reconciliation. Long after the protests fade, we can be an example in faith, hope, and love. We can display grace and empathy to those who are different than us and hold unjust practices to account. We can go first in leading with repentance and asking God to quickly examine our hearts instead of begrudgingly doing so after the fact.
Many of us, especially those of us who are white, haven’t trained appropriately for this particular marathon. But I pray that will change.
I will be the first one to say that I don’t have all the answers and I will probably get some things wrong. But I long for justice with my entire being. I mourn with and for those who have been hurt and oppressed by injustice and unjust systems. And I know injustice hurts the heart of God. I believe that as we work together to love and honor all people, regardless of race, that God is glorified.
Thankfully, even when we fall down, get it wrong, or even tap out, God is right there with us, picking us back up and dusting us off to continue to run the race set before us. I hope and pray that we’re able to kick off the sin and weights that have slowed us down so we can run fervently after him. I believe that as we pursue him, we will bring true justice, righteousness, peace, and hope to this nation and the world. We don’t have to solve every problem today, we just have to take one step forward.
Remember, in this life, we’re running a marathon, not a sprint.
How do you intentionally care for yourself in this season?