I think I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the underdog. The World Cup – The Great British Bake Off – Wimbledon… I just can’t escape my need to cheer on the person whose chances of winning are slim at best.
So while I was in front of my TV uncontrollably cheering on Costa Rica in the 2014 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals, I started to think about where my desire came from to support the weak, the forgotten or those who are different. It felt like something more than just sympathy. It just didn’t feel like something that came from me. Then I started to think; what if this sense of compassion came from God?
The Bible is abundent with references to God’s mercy and compassion for the lost and the broken. Time and time again He seeks out those who are the underdogs, the marginalised and the forgotten. David, Ruth, Mary, the poor, widows, prostitutes, the disabled. The list goes on and on. Jesus hung out with those that the Jewish teachers considered unclean and unworthy. His heart was built to love and proclaim justice.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” Luke 4:18-19 (NIV)
While God speaks to me through His word he also speaks to me through something else that I’m very passionate about – theatre.
In December I read a play by Janusz Glowacki called “Antigone in New York”. The tragic-comedy is set in New York and tells the story of three homeless immigrants who look to better their situations to no avail in the end. All I can say is that when I read this play something within me shifted. The reality and universality of their stories stretched my heart in a profound way. My eyes became open to what had been there all along. I suddenly saw the homeless, the poor and the lost on the very streets I walked down every day when I was going to university.
God’s challenged me. He’s moulding my heart to listen to the whispers of the broken. But it’s not a done deal. This is the beginning of a journey. For Jesus, justice isn’t a choice, it’s a lifestyle. Just Love is merely a way for someone like me – a fumbling, bumbling girl with a convicted heart – to challenge the social injustice of this world. I’m excited for the next step. Bring it on!