Fasting from Injustice (Isaiah 58)

via knezeves on flickr.
via knezeves on flickr.

How those words struck a chord when good friends discussed this concept on Sunday. Fasting from injustice.

What does that LOOK like?

In my every day reality, what would it look life if I refused to ignore those things that happen around me that are wrong. The big things and the small things and the normal things. Like where I shop and what I buy (because where those things came from and the conditions in which they were produced may be laced with unjust practices). Like my daily perusal of the newspaper and the countless ethical and human rights concerns that emerge – from domestic disputes to massive land grabs.

What would it look like? What does it look like to really use my voice. This powerful voice I have been given as an educated Westerner living in a foreign land?

What would it look like if I acted a bit more like the Nurse Practitioner who will deliver our baby in May?

She’s a little wild and swears like a sailor. Her raucous sense of humour has left me open jawed at times, shaking my head at others, and often laughing so hard I’ve cried. But what really sticks out is her voice. She knows the system and discerns when to go with it and when to stand up. She is a powerful advocate. And in a country like Cambodia, where the system is half the battle, it makes me trust her. I know that in the middle of labour, she’ll be my voice. That she’ll advocate for what’s best. And she’ll be straight with me along the way.

I’ve learned a lot from her.

And so what am I doing to take that and pursue my own fast from injustice? How am I being a voice for those who have lost theirs (or who never had one in the first place).

Well, that’s a good question. And one I’m not taking lightly.

Fasting from injustice

Isn’t this the fast I choose:
    releasing wicked restraints, untying the ropes of a yoke,
    setting free the mistreated,
    and breaking every yoke?
Isn’t it sharing your bread with the hungry
    and bringing the homeless poor into your house,
    covering the naked when you see them,
    and not hiding from your own family?
Then your light will break out like the dawn,
    and you will be healed quickly.
Your own righteousness will walk before you,
    and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and God will say, “I’m here.”
If you remove the yoke from among you,
    the finger-pointing, the wicked speech;
10     if you open your heart to the hungry,
    and provide abundantly for those who are afflicted,
    your light will shine in the darkness,
    and your gloom will be like the noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually
    and provide for you, even in parched places.
    He will rescue your bones.
You will be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water that won’t run dry.
12 They will rebuild ancient ruins on your account;
    the foundations of generations past you will restore.
You will be called Mender of Broken Walls,
    Restorer of Livable Streets.

Isaiah 58, Common English Bible

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