by Elizabeth Gilroy
I took the leap two years ago. Well, I am not sure you could call it a leap but rather a dragging-me over- the-finish-line kind of thing.
Yep, I did it. I made myself a twitter account.
Since that time I have come to enjoy the challenge of summarizing life in 140 characters. In fact, being limited to 140 characters is really good for my writing skills.
I remember in Journalism school when my teacher would use his red marker and draw big red exes on what I thought were my ticket to the Pulitzer. Less is more in writing. I am sure the creator of Twitter knew this when he designed it.
But, to be honest, this not why I entered the world of social media. I simply took the step only to use it as a tool to share with the world the beauty of the work I do here in San Jose, Costa Rica.
This work is beautiful because it is working with beautiful, though very broken, people. The world needs to hear about it. It is the work of justice and hope.
Over these past 3 years of this kind of work, I have become more and more convinced that the pursuit of justice is directly related to our call to holiness, our knowing God.
Throughout the Old and New Testaments, you will find example after example of where God couples justice with our own personal call to holiness. In short, he doesn't just say go be good. He says go help people, be kind, be just, help the poor, break the chains.
For instance, in the story of Daniel, after he interprets Nebuchadnezzar's dream, the future is not looking good for this wicked king. It's looking like a lot of pasture time with the local cattle herd.
But before it all starts and in those moments when Neb could have changed it all, Daniel comes before him and says this, "King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice. Stop sinning and do what is right."
That is good advice for a terrible, unkind king that likes to kill people. You would think that was enough. But God did not stop there.
"Break from you wicked past and be merciful to the poor."
It was not enough to God that the king stop sinning, He wanted justice for His people, his hurting, suffering people.
There are more examples. But I am sure you asking what all this has to do with Twitter.
Well, Twitter has been an awesome way to connect with others who are learning about this call we have to justice. It has been a link to other passion people and organizations that say being good is not enough. We must do justice.
Then the other day it happened. A powerful connection with a man I do not know and vision for the new ministry we are starting.
A couple of days ago, I posted the following: It is my belief that a person cannot truly know the heart of God without knowing compassion in their own.
I really do believe this. I believe justice and compassion is God's way of showing himself. I have believed this wholly in my heart but I had never had one specific verse to back it up. I knew it only to be a general truth drawn from the pages of God's word and history.
But Twitter changed all that.
I was quickly scrolling down the feed and there it was, glaring at me.
In Jeremiah 22, God is using King Josiah as an example of a just and righteous man to Josiah's wicked son. Here is what he says about him but look at the last line.
"He gave justice and help to the poor and needy; and everything went well for him. Isn't that what it means to know me?"
I still have chills going throughout my body reading it again. Isn't that what it means to know God? Isn't justice and mercy lived out in our lives the way to know this sovereign, eternal, infinite God? What more is holiness?
There is much I do not know. But I know this one thing. When I am looking for God, I will always find him in the eyes of a broken heart.
Victor Hugo said this:
Psalms call you Wisdom and Truth; John calls you Light; the Books of Kings call you Lord; Exodus calls you Providence; Leviticus, Sanctity ; Esdras, Justice; the creation calls you God; man calls you Father; but Solomon calls you Compassion, and that is the most beautiful of all your names.”
Oh, God, let me forever be one that seeks you in compassion and justice for others!