One year ago women joined together in the Women’s March on Washington. Fed up with the denigration of others, these women began a tsunami that would continue in marches across America. Women everywhere cried #metoo, toppling men in power, and receiving recognition as Silence Breakers in Time’s person of the year.
Now 2018 is here and the question is how to join women of courage in advancing justice?
1. Embrace courage
Webster defines courage as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” Another dictionary simply states courage is strength in the face of pain or grief. I believe courage is the moral strength to look fear in the face and say, “I will not yield to you.” The women of 2017 stood against the fear-mongering, belittling, and power plays that sought to cower and diminish the dignity of all people. They would not yield.
While we can find courage in one another. I believe it is a glimpse of the Divine sparks in us. I believe true courage is rooted in a loving God who cannot abide evil. Courage is God’s gift to us to stand against injustice. For courage to be courage, it must be rooted not in self-interest but in a genuine love for others to not stand silent. Courage, is courage on behalf of others, not self.
Love of others allows us to overcome fear. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love, drives out fear.” 1 John 4:18. Let us march forward in faith, not fear, knowing that God goes with us as we love his people and stand against injustice.
2. Recognize courage in others
Courage belongs to all those who dare to hope for a better future. The word “encourage” is effectively to instill courage into another person. To give support, confidence or hope to someone. As you do this you draw out the courage in the other person.
Facing a legal proceeding or uncertain future can be frightening. Others don’t need someone to do everything for them, they just need someone to encourage them — give them hope and the courage to move forward. We need to do justice with others. Together we find the courage to stand.
3. Find the courage to fight for others
Women across the country are rising up to stand in the gap on behalf of those unable to access justice. Every second in America someone fails to receive legal help. In the Bible, Deborah, from the book of Judges was a prophetess and judge. She refused to stand by while people suffered injustice. Deborah used her skills to hold court and help resolve disputes. (Judges 4:5) She reached out to the warrior Barak to help free people from oppression but he would not go to battle without her. (Judges 4:8) Deborah did not shrink back but boldly went to battle. Deborah was a woman of courage. She broke out in song over the Lords victory setting people free from oppression. (Judges 5) Like Deborah, women of courage are leading the way across the country. They are using their voices and skills to free others from oppression.
Emmy’s Place was founded on Proverbs 31:8-9 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Will you be one of those women using their voices and skills to encourage others and ensure they have access to justice?