Because compassion can be shown, can be experienced, can be taught, can be learned.
Two-thousand years ago the public ministry of Jesus turned the Palestinian world upside down. The Roman Empire’s understanding of power, influence, morality, and belief in its general sense were all challenged and left both scrutinized and exposed. Not only were the weak, the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized able to be seen and heard…the weak, the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized were put on display and esteemed. They were affirmed, accepted, legitimized, and qualified – not merely ‘tolerated.’
There is no historical gospel without the historically powerless, the historically stigmatized, the historically “least of these.”
And in this way, is it not reasonable to believe that this is the same type of work we are called to as we “follow in His steps?” Is it not reasonable to believe that instead of living our lives in fear of “slippery slopes” and accidentally “fighting for the wrong side” in these culture wars that we’d actually DO SOMETHING about the variations of injustice and inequality that still pervade our society?
The idea of working in ‘advocacy’ was never something that I expected or even imagined. Quite frankly, I think I was taught to stay away from this type of work lest I ‘back slide’ and forsake the call to foster the life and way of Kingdom. However, I have become increasingly convinced by way of both the Scriptures and tradition that this…this fighting for the voiceless & ending the discrimination, hatred, and ignorance surrounding the dignity and pursuit of full life for all people regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, and so on and forth is actually a central part of this ‘Upside down Kingdom’ we have come to understand through the message of Christ.