Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘oppressed’

Any change, any redirection, any assessment of the present requires a stop. Plain and simple.

Isaiah 1:16b-17
. . . stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

When our high energy Boston Terrier, Rocky, is over the top and we are trying to settle him down, it has to be cold turkey. We have to stop throwing the toy or stop engaging him in any way. That little dog is addicted to the high of chase and retrieve. He is not able to stop himself. He would probably keel over in exhaustion before he would stop if we didn’t make him stop.

There are stories in the human world that are not that different. They call it intervention.

So, based on this scripture, here’s the way it might work:

  1. Stop doing what you’re doing.
  2. Learn a better way.
  3. Seek justice.

It makes sense really because the process of learning a different way or better way to act, behave, operate in our world will reveal the injustices that proliferate in our society. The better way is littered with the shredded souls who tried and failed, who went back to the old way, who could not master themselves or the demands of change.

Everyone needs help after the stop. Just the learning alone is treacherous.

My daughter is an ESOL (English as a Second Language) learner. Even after 5 1/2 years in this country, she struggles with the nuance of the language and the vocabulary that is unique to a variety of subjects. But, she is determined all the same. She stopped the downhill pull in high school and decided she would attend community college. But the challenges did not stop. And as she plugs along, she has experienced unfair treatment and mockery by students and teachers alike. We are working together to remedy this, but it’s a slog.

In the bigger picture, Isaiah writes, once the path toward justice is found, then we are strengthened and we can take what we have learned about stopping, learning and seeking justice to reach out to others, those others oppressed by the powerful, the disengaged, the blind proud.

Orphans are at particular risk. Without love, how do they survive? What choices will they make to get what they can get, to show the world, to play the odds.

Jesus said the poor will always be with us [Matthew 26:11], but must the orphans be relegated to this statement as well?

If every family of moderate means or every single adult would adopt just one orphan, what would happen? Start there. We are without excuse in this country. Even if we don’t have the courage or interest in the orphans of the world, shouldn’t we, at the least, adopt our own?

In Old Testament times, the poor of the poor were the widows. So much depended on the willingness of families and children to care for them, but often, they could not. There was no legal provision for them. And although most widows fair much better in our society financially (unless there was nothing to begin with), they are still in need of emotional support. I know I have stumbled here as well, intending to reach out, but getting too caught up in my own world.

Isn’t that the way of it? My own world, my little sphere, my own boundaries.

Isn’t it time to just stop and take a breath, to look around myself, to assess the way, to learn something new?

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: