Posted by: pendrops | January 22, 2007

justice rising: part 1

burqas.jpg

“And what does the LORD require of you:
do justice
love mercy
walk humbly with your God.”
Micah 6:8

With a streak of Irish blood running through my veins, it doesn’t take much to get me riled up. I can get angry – and stay angry – about the pettiest things: the way someone is parked next to me, poor service in a nice restaurant, the weather. But yesterday, I got angry for the right reasons.

A woman I recently met was explaining to me the brutal way women and children are treated in her home country. Where she comes from, common justified practices include multiple marriages for men as well as the rape, beating and slavery of women. Women are even still stoned as a form of punishment and, with no legal recourse, are left to suffer at the hands of their “masters.”

This woman’s eyes, filled with sadness and resignation, searched my face, her stories more real than any graphic news coverage or mind-boggling statistic. As she continued sharing how other women are beaten, raped and even killed in accordance with a set of government-approved religious commands, my heart beat faster, harder. It was anger, rising up, red hot and with feet attached to it, longing to run to this place of disgusting injustice to administer some brand of freedom to these women. But my hands felt shackled; my feet, too. What can I do in this impossible battle?

Today my hunger for justice doesn’t have a place to go, a partner to unite with in the fight. In my preliminary searches for organizations that address the human rights violations of women in these oppressive nations, I have come up empty. Today, I only have this prayer:

Will you teach us how to love?
To see the things you see
Walk the road you walked
Feel the pain that you feel
At your feet I kneel,
I want to see you shine
See your light not mine…

Jars of Clay, “Light Gives Heat”

But it is enough and this is just the start. My heart is broken, and as I shed ignorance and indifference, I am encouraged. For the first time since I sat in a high school sociology class arguing for the rights of unborn children, I felt justice rising in my heart. Not just the typical self-centered attitude screaming “that’s not fair” because someone wronged me. But real justice. An unquenchable desire to see others, millions of them, freed from the chains of evil.

More on the human rights violations of women around the world very soon.

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