The cost of speaking up
Someone asked me recently what it has cost us in speaking up for, standing up with, and moving closer to marginalized communities, hard places, and systems broken by injustice and challenging the Church to run towards them with eyes wide open instead of away (which too often in our fearful nature and American mindsets we tend to want to do).
It’s cost us our relationship with my parents.
It’s cost my kids relationship with their grandparents.
It’s cost us holidays and relationships with relatives.
It’s cost us loss of many friendships (ministry ones, best friend ones, and more)
It’s cost us opportunity within ministry.
It’s cost us our reputation in some places.
It’s cost us supporters.
It’s cost us followers.
It’s cost us tears and heartache because things said to us are painful to hear even if they aren’t true.
It’s cost us our joy at times because this path is hard and lonely.
It’s cost us our confidence in what we thought we always knew to be true.
But I still hold to the fact that what we have been given, what we have learned, what we have gained, what we have experienced and walked through is so worth these temporary (though very real and painful) losses.
We have gained…
-Deeper relationships with other members of our family and healing with broken/distant relationships in the past.
-The freedom to go when God led us to leave everything familiar and to trust Him.
-Incredible friendships that are becoming like family because they are in the trenches too and we need each other in ways we didn’t need others before.
– The understanding of what those who face rejection and abandonment might feel like and the empathy to grieve with them.
– The friendships of those in marginalized and minority communities who say “welcome to the club, it’s been hard for us for a long time now. You keep on keeping on!”
– The opportunity and invitation to listen to and promote voices who we never would have opened our ears to before.
– The opportunity to relate to those facing poverty and to join them in their struggle and anger over broken and unjust systems.
– The understanding that ministry often is best done out from under the spotlight and usually looks like coming along side of others in everyday moments of struggle and endurance.
– The power to do things without worrying about what others might think.
– The knowledge that God is unchanging and unwavering in His love and saving power towards us. That while the human elements of the Church may let Him down, and screw things up, and miss the mark…. He still loves her and died to see her reconciled to Himself.
– An increased longing for ALL things to be made right and everything sad to become untrue!
So… dear believer. You might get called a SJW. You might get labeled a liberal. You might get accused of minimizing the gospel. You might get dubbed the one bringing division. You might not be understood. You will feel lonely and betrayed. You will pay a cost.
But speak up and stand up and move closer. Many have come before us and have paved an even rougher path and it’s cost them far greater.