When I first read an article written by Shayne Moore a few months ago, I knew that this was a woman that I wanted to hear more from and was excited to find that she would be sharing her story; as a Christian, mom, and activist for the “least” of these among us. She has a heart that breaks for the same things that breaks Jesus’ heart. So, I reached out to her. I told her that I wanted to hear more and she simply had to join us at the Synergy conference this year – and she will. I look forward to meeting Shayne in three short weeks, reading her book this summer, and sharing in her passion to stand against the injustices of poverty, disease, the mistreatment of children and violence. I’ll share more about our conversations on next month. In the meantime, here is Shayne’s story:
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” –Mother Teresa
I am an ordinary full-time mother of three. I don’t think of myself as a feminist, per se, or a liberal, or a member of the religious right. I’m a housewife, mother, lover and friend. I start most days by throwing on my go-to pair of jeans and pulling my hair into a ponytail. My calendar is full of school events, sports practices, and instrument lessons. I holler at my kids to pile in the car as I rush to cram in one more load of laundry — and never mind the unfolded clothes on the table. It is my job to make sure everyone has clean clothes, good food, and homework papers that are turned in on time.
This book is for women like me — everyday women who want to make our world a better place. Even though I now spend most of my life in the car shuttling kids from one activity to the next, there is much more to me than that — and I suspect there is much more to you as well.
The term social justice is often used to describe the activities of working to eradicate injustices such as poverty and disease. In our churches we use the word missions or missional. Historically, mission departments in churches were about spreading the gospel message and conversion. In the conservative faith tradition I grew up in “social justice” and “activism” are scary terms used to describe liberals. However, when I consider that 16,000 children die every day from malnutrition and extreme poverty, or that more than 1 billion people live on less that $1.25 a day, working on behalf of the poor no longer sounds like a secular or church issue, conservative or liberal issue. When I consider that gender-based violence against women and girls is pervasive in the developing world and that women and girls are marginalized and exploited in situations of extreme poverty, advocating or speaking up on their behalf no longer looks like a Democrat or Republican issue. It seems to me to be a compassion issue.
There is much division in the world today, both in the political arena and in the church. In my Protestant tradition, we disagree on things such as women’s roles in leadership, what to do with the homosexuality issues and even the style of worship music. It can be confusing and use up a lot of our time and energy as we debate the minutia of Christian life. I may never have all the answers when it comes to what divides the church or our nation; however, if I am sure of one thing it is this: I am not wrong if I am spending myself on behalf of the poor and the oppressed.
Shayne Moore is author of the new book, Global Soccer Mom; Changing the World Is Easier than you Think
How can you create change right where you are?
© Natasha L. Robinson 2011
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