This last Monday night our Women’s Ministries launched a 9-month challenge we are calling “Simple Justice.” We are challenging the women of Faith to commit to give up a “want” for a period of time and donate all money that they would normally have spent on their want to help the International Justice Mission* bring justice to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.
It’s really a matter of living simply, so someone can simply live.
The incredible thing is this: those who engage in this challenge will not only help bring healing and justice those who have been denied these things, they themselves will be changed in unexpected and surprising ways.
It seems to me like the missing ingredient often in our spiritual transformation is the actual practice of our beliefs in ways that are connected to real needs. It’s the difference from holding on to cherished theological constructs and embodying our faith…actually living it. Thomas Merton wrote, “The spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied. It is to be lived.” What I have discovered is when I engage by whole being (not just my mind) it makes me more alive to the creative, on-going activity of the Holy Spirit in my life. In other words, I am changed through the process.
So after much prayer, I have chosen to give up buying ANY new clothes for nine months. No new jeans, no sweaters, no jackets, no pants, no tops, no shoes. Yet, it is not the lack of clothes that I think will be difficult. I certainly don’t need anything. I have a closet full of clothes that can last me well beyond nine months. It will be the confrontation of my own compulsions, fears and addictions that brings the most concern. Who knows what will surface? Yet I welcome the healing work that will be wrought in my life through this discipline of self-denial that might not come otherwise. The hope of wholeness…for others and myself is a compelling invitation.
I invite YOU to join me…to join us. What might you give up for the sake of others? That’s up to you. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- Starbucks – Five days a week X $3.00 every time = $15 a week =$60 a month.
- Brown bag your lunches instead of eating out
- Sell something on EBay or Craigslist each week
- No professional hair services
- Acrylic nails
- Pedicure or manicures
- Eating beans and rice for a week? (Your kids would experience how most kids in the world live.)
- ?????? Be creative!
- Make it a family project!
Join our challenge and help International Justice Mission restore to victims of oppression the things that God intends for them: their lives, their liberty, their dignity, the fruits of their labor. YOU have the incredible opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people…and who knows, you just might not ever be the same.
*International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to secure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to ensure that public justice systems – police, courts and laws – effectively protect the poor. For more information about IJM, go to www.ijm.org