Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Justice Devotional - A Victim of Her Circumstances

Devotion to Justice
A series of devotions from the Justice table on the topics of
  • Women and children
  • Hunger and poverty
  • Creation care
  • Immigration
A Victim of Her Circumstances
Genesis 16:1-10 Hagar's Song

Genesis, chapter 16, offers insight into the life of a young Egyptian woman named, Hagar. This pregnant slave girl is filled with confusion and distress. Everyone around her is uncomfortable. She did not choose this predicament for herself. Like other women, she became a victim of circumstances. After giving birth to Abraham's first son, Ishmael, they were asked to leave the security and comforts of what they had always known, only to go into a new reality called, the unknown. Although, complex in nature, Hagar’s life and the story of her womanhood is seen in an unhealthy light. There were several injustices committed. Rereading this story, reminds me of the number of women and children who are still being exiled, every day from amongst everything they have ever known. They are deserted, and left to find their own way? We cannot fix the Hagar story.

However, we can change the lyrics to her song.
Today, I am singing a new song. One that promotes inclusion, love, justice and reconciliation for all women. There is a new sound dancing around in my head; while muffling the old tunes of disrespect, abuse and injustice. That tune says, “What would this world exemplify if all women felt empowered and respected?”
Please consider this: Every time a “Woman is affected, a child is affected.” Whenever any woman is treated with disrespect, we are all disrespected. In the words of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Today’s challenge is choosing to see, hear, and gather persons from all points of exclusion. We must take the time to investigate our communities and spheres of influence, while listening for those persons who may be living a life similar to Hagar’s. We must not rest until all have been restored to their rightful places, (a) the arms of God (b) and the whole of Humanity. Friends, the redemption of Hagar's story is she was met by an Angel who assured her of God’s presence. She was given direct insight into a promised future, therefore, some dignity was restored. However, you and I (we) must become the one voice of God, whose total assignment is to sing the lyrics to the new song-quoting “With liberty and Justice for All!”
The Rev. Dr. Christal L. Williams: Associate Regional Minister

The Christian Church in Illinois & Wisconsin, Cherry Valley, IL
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