“It sounds like you are talking about a church focused on social justice,” one member of the meeting offers up.
Another member contributes his perspective, “What is interesting about the issue of social justice is that you can work it from both a progressive and/or conservative position, which almost cancel each other out politically, though the theological information you have provided makes it sound like your childhood church was progressive.”
While attending a meeting, I happen into the roiling sea of words. At home and around most of the edges of my life, there is a full and beautiful silence through which clear guidance charts the course of my days. At the moment, my head is swamped with compound word choices, which only partially describe what I observed and experienced in the church of my upbringing.
Social justice? No. Social action? Closer. Social service within community-at-large. Better. Yet, in terms of an accurate set of word descriptors, we are still not there.
Then, later in the evening, the first speaker continues, “The problem that I have with ‘social justice’ is that I lose,” there is a long pause in search of the best descriptive words, “I guess—the sense of piety that I enjoy in most other circumstances.”
At home, I contemplate all of the possible labels I have been presented with, which are like a drawer full of inadequate stickers for the way in which my life has been unfolding. I feel a tremendous amount of compassion for my pious friend and something of an answer percolating through about three hours after I have arrived home and dumped out my word bag.
When we are securely seated in the space of our highest Light and guidance comes through for us to move with the support of the Spirit, there is no absence or loss of piety when we engage in spiritual or sacred service. Sacred service sustains piety, affirms life, holds compassion, allows for forgiveness and upholds Grace.