Friday, August 19, 2016

Justice Devotional - Excuse me...

Devotion to Justice
A series of devotions from the Justice table on the topics of
  • Women and children
  • Hunger and poverty
  • Creation care
  • Immigration

Excuse me...

“I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me — you did it to me.”

As a former teacher, I could write a book about the interesting excuses my students (both the children and adults) gave me for not completing assignments. There are always exceptions and believe me, there’s no excuse that a teacher hasn’t heard. The common denominator to the excuses was that most of the time they blamed everyone else but themselves.

My sister Luz Amanda and her women’s network have opened up a daycare, job training center and support ministry for the women. My sister Rosette and her sisters have started a soap making business. Another group of sisters have established a microcredit union that supports women to allow them to become self-sufficient entrepreneurs.

This isn’t unusual, but let me add the rest of the story.

Luz Amanda and her network are located in Colombia. Rosette and her sisters founded the soap making business and the microcredit union in the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. All of these women are in the midst of poverty, war torn countries, violence against women and danger on a regular basis. These factors would serve as valid excuses or reasons not to be able to complete their assignments. Yet in the midst of what appears to be no material resources, they have resurrected successful ventures with faith, perseverance and resilience.

No excuses.

I will never forget the words of wisdom from one of my Colombian sisters in Christ during my visit. “Whenever you’re frustrated and feel that you can’t do something, remember your Colombian sisters and then you’ll realize if we can do it, you can too.”

No excuses. Years later, her words and actions resonate continually within my spirit. Her simple, yet profound wisdom remains a bit unsettling because it places the responsibility There are no excuses. As I thought about my goals and desires, I was literally embarrassed at the excuses I had for delaying them. Even though I had access to far more resources than my sisters, they were accomplishing life-changing ventures.

These brave Congolese and Colombian women are ministering to populations that are overlooked and ignored by others. The importance of the call diminishes their excuses.

We are not called to make excuses, but to make good.

No excuses.

Sheila Spencer Director of Christian Education/Faith Formation – Disciples Home Missions Light of the World Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Indianapolis, IN Women and Children
Read more!