by Elyse Dobney
During the latest Justice Week, Major Katherine Clausell, territorial social justice and city mission secretary, reminded us, “Jesus’ mission on earth in His time is our mission on earth in our time.” During the training, community experiences and fellowship with others, I was brought back to reflect time and again on Jesus’ mission for justice and how we can continue to follow His lead today.
God inspired many of us throughout the week and quietly whispered to my own heart. On multiple occasions, He brought to mind the story of the boy who saw starfish all over the beach and walked up and down throwing as many as he could back into the water. When asked why he bothered since he would not be able to eradicate the problem, his response was simple. He held one up and explained, “But I can make a difference for this one.”
For me, this is a wonderful allegory of how The Salvation Army impacts lives through our incredible social service ministries. Our Pathway of Hope initiative, general corps services, case management programs and many more focus on being person-centered. We meet people where they are and cater the support we provide to their individual needs. We do not require a cookie-cutter service plan for each individual because we recognize people’s needs are unique to their life circumstances.
While there may be confusion about equality and equity and justice, on an individual level we are already actively doing equity work. Equity is not about giving everyone the same thing; it is about giving people what they need. Working from a person-centered approach is working through an equity lens. Without naming it as such, it is the response in which we have naturally engaged as we have sought to do God’s will. And how beautiful is it that God continues to use us to do justice?
Let us remember what God requires of us in Micah 6:8 (NIV): “…to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
We cannot only choose to love mercy and walk humbly. We also must act justly. God has raised us up to do just that. He asks us to love His children, to meet their unique needs. If we truly do this, we will be doing justice. God has incredible plans for The Salvation Army if we continue to seek His guidance, wisdom and strength to achieve that to which He is calling us.
If you are interested in learning more about The Salvation Army’s social justice efforts or would like more information about upcoming Justice Week opportunities, please reach out to us: [email protected]