By Nick Coke
What is a justice-seeker? What do we dream of becoming? What characteristics should we desire and pray for? What should we be doing? Here are some personal reflections. Although far from this, I pray I might walk this path. When you have read it, have a go at writing your own version. Use it as a source for daily prayer.
Present: justice-seekers understand there is no justice to be done from a distance. Like the Good Samaritan, they go out of their way and take risks to recognise and know the suffering of others. There are no boundaries that they will not cross, nor comforts they will not dispense with in order to build relationships and understand others. They know that first and foremost change begins with relationship and relationship can only begin with presence.
Migrants: All are migrants, wanderers through life. The justice-seeker walks alongside others as equals, sharing the dream of a better world and life here together. They do not do for others what they can do for themselves but encourage, support, agitate, share material things as well as love, peace and joy. They are humble enough to receive as much as they give. And when they ‘walk through the shadow of the valley of death’ they are hopeful of the destination that is to come, both here and in eternity.
Contemplative: justice-seekers know more than anyone that activism is futile without contemplation, prayer and Biblical reflection. It’s the source of knowing the prompting of God to action, the balm amidst the struggle, the lens through which to view the adversary and the door to love and grace. Without contemplation activism builds ego, self-righteousness and turns justice into a project. With contemplation the activist fixes their eyes on Jesus – ‘the author and perfecter of our faith’.
Prophetic: the justice-seeker has eyes to see an alternative future to the present reality. Holy anger and discontent at the way things are become their friends. They will not be complicit with silence about sinful earthy structures but have the courage to raise their voice. They understand that some will oppose and misjudge them for this but they take comfort in knowing that it is not they – neither their reputation nor their status – that is at stake, but the greater love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for all peoples of the earth.
Kingdom-minded: although never naive of the world as it is, justice-seekers will have a vision of the world as it should be – the kingdom of God established ‘on earth as it is heaven’. This vision, burning deep down inside their souls will ensure they never give up, persevere even when they suffer set-backs and will see beyond the narrow constraints of their own realities. All things are being made new for the kingdom is coming, forever coming.
Come Holy Spirit!