“But we will never understand injustice and justice until we open our hearts and lives to the suffering of others” (97).
The four steps of communicating, advocating, relating to, and educating for justice as provided in Kim & Hill’s “Healing our broken humanity” seem to each coincide with the act of solidarity. Until we intentionally come alongside an injustice, get our heads, hands and hearts dirty with the brokenness of others, our supposed Christian orthodoxy is little more than superstition. Our faith, as an integrated faith, should be blind to the politicized social constructs of our day, resisting their forms as we shine the discomforting light of Christ on all evils. We should do this however through suffering love, rooted in the commonality of human suffering because of our collective sin and brokenness.
We must be wary of the self righteous tendency of the human heart to identify with anything other than the undeserved mercy of just and justifying One (e.g. Social Identity Theory: Tajfel & Turner, 1986, Chavous et al., 2003). For example, I’ve felt at times ‘justice’ has become a trendy western evangelical focus in response to politically charged accusations of apathy. This type of response only further alienates the sufferer and injustice from resolution as ‘christians’ get caught up in being attempted hero’s rather than fellow sufferers (much like the response to global mission). To partner isn’t ‘us’ helping ‘them’, but rather a collaboration alongside for the pursuit of change. Additionally, victims of injustice are not exempt from the forbidden fruit of self-righteousness as they can also lose sight of their own need for a Savior as they become lost in acts of justice and belonging to the ‘right’ group.
In my context, the lack of a middle class, though slowly emerging, represents a majority population in Ukraine as the marginalized, powerless, poor. By creating our leadership ‘spaces’, using ALD and elevating diverse personality, leadership as divested authority, we are undermining these forces by sowing vision and hope into the fabric of culture.