Reflections from Urbana: Day 2 The “Hero Complex”.

“God bring us into marginalized places for us to be confronted with our own brokeness”.

All too often social justice and action is accompanied by a “Hero Complex”, assuming we are the deliverers of Shalom: right relationships, peace, resources, equitable systems; but as Christians we view social justice differently because we know the Shalom we seek through our actions does not rest on our own shoulders.

Today in our time studying the bible, talks, and seminars I got to start to start exploring a new way to seek social justice, asking the question, “What does it look like to do God’s justice?”

Mark 6:34 – When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

Jesus looked first, and then had compassion. Most of us don’t have a compassion problem but looking is not something we’re in the practice of.

What do I see when I look through the eye’s of Jesus? I see invisible people overlooked because they are othered and on the margins of society (Luke 16:19), angels — not celestial beings but anyone being sent with truth and words that bring healing from God (Hebrews 13:2), and even the crowds — the sum of individuals who are not receiving justice showing us that entire systems are broken and need to be addressed.

When I see these things through the eyes of Jesus I also change my questions of response I no longer ask what do I have to give up, counting the costs and inconvenience, but instead start asking what do I have in my possession and privilege that I could share? Mercy turns into justice, mercy — loving kindness — takes us into justice.

As Christians, believers in Jesus, we are called to go beyond fighting for fairness and equality instead we seek Shalom, right relationships starting with returning to right relationship with God.

In my own life I’m trying to figure out what it means to be a person of peace standing in solidarity with those whose stories need to be seen, acknowledged, heard, and responded to. My prayer for myself is that I would learn to see better so that in situations I don’t feel equipped to address when I don’t know what the Bible says or what “side” God is on I would remember that: God never desires for people to be outside of right relationships with one another or him.







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