A few years ago as a student living in Australia, I remember discovering a Bible verse that I had not paid much heed to before. I was interning in an office which played host to the Australian arm of the Micah Challenge, and as such I came to see the following verse on a near daily basis around the building:
“And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
And to walk humbly with your God.”
For me, this verse distils the essence of how I want to live my life as a Christian, and is something that I try and carry with me every day. In reality, that is not so easy to do. We may do our best to walk humbly, and some of us are considerably better than others at loving mercy – but how in our current society, can we be effective in acting justly?
In the Western world, injustice can sit at the heart of our everyday lives. It’s the t-shirt that you bought only to wear once before discarding it, when the woman who made it earns just 35pence an hour. It’s the food wasted before it is even eaten, while the distribution of food bank parcels hit record highs.It’s the ultra-connected nature of our social media saturated lifestyles where we are never offline, when over 9 million people in the UK say that they are often or always lonely. Our daily lives are a seething mass of contradictions where our relationships with those around us, and the environment around us, are inherently broken. In short, our society is unjust; all is not as it was meant to be.
We know that God cares deeply about each one of these issues; that his heart is not just one of love, grace and mercy, but also one of justice. It is an integral part of his character. He yearns to see his precious creation living in harmony, where justice and peace abound.
At All We Can, we recognise that our world is not just; but that we have a God who longs for it to be so. As a Christian organisation, seeking justice in our work is not just something that is good for us to do, a nice additional extra to earn us some brownie points – it is imperative.
Our values state that All We Can aim to be ‘courageous in challenging injustice and inequality’. In India, we are doing just that by supporting talented local organisations who are committed to helping women learn about their rights, and how to claim them in the face of discrimination. In Jordan, we are supporting children living in refugee camps who have been robbed of their childhood by the ongoing war in Syria, by giving them the opportunity to play and to enjoy simply being children. In Cameroon, we are supporting elderly communities to improve their quality of life and realise their constitutional rights, enabling them to have basic freedoms like travelling and voting.
Acting justly, as the verse in Micah compels us to do, is no easy challenge. And yet the results are truly beautiful to behold – when people thrive, flourish, and fulfil the potential that God has intended for them.