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Justice Girl

Justice Girl

I didn’t think it was possible, but since Dominic I’ve actually become even more intense. On a scale of 1-10, I pretty much live life above an 8. All the time. There’s just not much in this world that I don’t care about. Every political issue that concerned me before is now an undying passion that keeps me up at night. Every burden for prayer ties my soul in knots. I have unrealistic high expectations for others and for myself. I cannot stop thinking about ways to counterract injustice I see, to bring truth to light, or to advance the cause of Christ.

I know people get sick of me. I am forever, now, talking about political issues or posting things about injustices in the world. I am eternally trying to motivate people to support causes or give money or make calls to change minds. I would get sick of me. I do get sick of me. People want to go to the mall. And watch cat videos. And chat about the cool things they saw on Pinterest.

There is nothing wrong with any of those things.

Dominic’s death has just changed so much for me about how I see life. Everything, after him, got broader and longer and larger, while at the same time becoming more detailed and present-focused. It’s like the big picture, eternity, everlasting life, heaven all became real and pertinent and relevant. And, by doing so, my focus shifted from eternally searching within the future for some unknown “something”, to looking for God’s purpose and presence in the right now. Because I know just how precious every single moment of this life is, now, it has made me to want to make every moment that I have count for Him.

Interesingly, the more I have found God’s presence in the “right now”, the more God’s purpose for me has crystallized into a deep desire to illuminate truth, dispel falsehood, and enact justice. Like, all the time.

Just call me Justice Girl.

How I’ve Changed

I feel like Psalm 82 is my calling: “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

Losing Dominic has helped me experience so much more of God than I ever had before – His love and goodness and power and holiness. I’ve learned that you cannot truly experience the Lord without being completely changed. And one of the biggest ways it has changed me is by making my already existing pre-Dominic justice meter suddenly start to go off the scale.

Come on, Lord. Couldn’t you just let me be happy sitting in front of an episode of Survivor?

I feel Isaiah 59 perpetually reverberate in my soul, now: “No one calls for justice; no one pleads a case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil….So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice.”

My visceral reaction to the darkness and dirtiness and injustice of this world has increased 100 fold. I want to do something about it. I want to change it, to fix it, to eradicate the bad and replace it with His good. I get disgusted by my own sin in ways I never did before, and I sometimes get overwhelmed by the magnitude of “bad” within myself and within this world. Now that I’ve experienced His good so profoundly, I want to spend every waking moment becoming more like Him, fighting everything that is bad, and working to help others see His truth, experience His good, and bring more of His truth and good and justice to the world.

I can’t wait, now, to get to the next life, where there is no pain or sin and there is only God and His good. But I’ve got children that have to grow up in this world, I’ve got lots of people that I care about in this world, and I still have to live in this world for at least a little while longer. I want to be sure everyone possible gets to go to that place where Dominic and my Mimi wait and where everything is just perfect, loving relationships and endless exciting learning and complete and utter fulfillment and Jesus. And I want to make sure that, while we’re all here on this earth, we make it as much like the world to come – like Jesus – as possible.

So what does a world look like, that is like Jesus?

Psalm 89:14 says, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.”

If I had to boil it down, it would be a world characterized by two qualities: Love and Righteousness.

I’ll give you one guess as to which of those I’m better at addressing.

Justice Girl in the Ring

God, for some reason, made me a fighter. In the great cosmic “fight or flight” response to the stressors of life, I’ve almost always chosen “fight”. But, ever since Dominic, I feel like a steroid-enhanced wrestler, just twitching on the sidelines in anticipation of getting his shot at the lauded bad boy opponent of injustice. And I restlessly wait, knowing that I only have a few rounds left in which to secure his defeat. And there is just so much riding on the outcome of the match.

Honestly, I think my least favorite verse in scripture is 1 Peter 3:4 “The unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight”. Because I’m so bad at that, much to my husband’s chagrin. I’m more of a 2 Timothy 1:7 “Spirit of timidity but of power, of love and self-discipline”.

Without the love part.

This isn’t an excuse; I seek daily for the Holy Spirit’s help in bringing about that “unfading beauty” in my life, but the truth is that thus far I look spiritually much more like a bruised and battered ultimate fighter than a beautiful, gentle maiden before her Lord.

*SIGH*

I know that I need to continually work on the “compassion” side of myself, and on improving my ability to actively love others and bring God’s love into this world. But I also know that God created me to be attuned to injustice, and with a passion for truth and “rightness”, and that He compels me to be convicted about, address, illuminate, write about, and battle evil, both in myself and in the world.

I get angry that the majority of the world doesn’t seem to care about justice. It drives me crazy that a facebook post about what meal I’m making that day will get 35 likes and 10 comments, whereas a post about the impact of same-sex marriage on the future of marriage and families hardly gets 25 page views. It infuriates me that senators are trying to push through a treaty that will give government unprecedented control over the rights of parents to make decisions for their children, under false pretenses about the benefits the treaty would provide. I lose sleep at night when I see the poverty of the women my sister taught to sew in India, and then look at my own (and America’s) unbelievable decadence. I want to vomit over the fact that our president will not make a single comment about the baby-butcherer Gosnell’s case, during his speech at Planned Parenthood, but will pledge his support to “fight with [them] every step of the way”, and tell the abortion organization, “God bless you” in their efforts toward “securing women’s healthcare” (killing babies).

And I get angry at my own sin. At the ways, like Paul, “Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. (Romans 7:18).” I feel furious with myself that my own sense of “self” is so strong, and that even with experiencing how perfect and good God’s way is, I still constantly strive for my own. I am appalled at the ways I am not loving, especially to those I love the most, and how the very righteousness and justice I seek so earnestly I am unable to produce in myself.

I know, I know. Most of you are thinking that I could just really benefit from a good glass of wine.

The Fight

It is tiring to be me. And, I suspect, even more tiring to have to listen to me. I just keep praying that as I walk with the Lord moment-by-moment, He will help me to find the right avenues for this proclivity toward justice He has given me. Because whereas our world often extols the virtue of love, it rarely, if ever, seeks out righteousness. And understanding that God is just love is missing half the picture – an important enough part of the picture to keep people from getting to experience God’s love.

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). Amos 5:15 says, “Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.” Our God is a God of love and righteousness.

And, for some reason, He made me with an overactive radar for the righteousness side of things. So I will be constantly praying for forgiveness for my own unrighteousness, and on a moment-to-moment quest to become infused with His righteousness. Because that is certainly where it all has to start. But I also know the Lord has called me to speak truth and highlight injustice where He shows it to me, and that means I will likely be spending a lot of time writing about things very few people will actually read. It means that I will probably get a lot less sleep than I would like. It means that I’m going to be the cause of many an eye-roll and comments of, “Here she goes again”.

But that’s ok. Because, since Dominic, I’ve learned that the only thing that matters is being obedient to the Lord. Every act of righteousness on this earth helps to prepare us for the full enjoyment of eternal life, kind of like sewing our wedding dress to our marriage for eternity with the Creator. Every choice to obey Him in this life makes us more like Him so that our experience of the life after this one will be all the more profound and wonderful. I’m willing to take on the fight of this life, because when it’s over, I know I’ll get to be the bride in the best wedding ever.

I continue to pray that as I seek to live out the calling He has given me, He will empower me to balance it with love. I pray that He will give me discernment and temperance and patience, and wisdom on precisely what avenues to take. I pray He will open hearts and minds to truth, and spur hands and feet to action.

Because, when Justice Girl gets to the end of the match, all that matters is that the coach believes she fought a good fight – the fight He asked and empowered her to fight. All that matters is that I hear, “‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”

Because when the fight is over, He will clean me up and I’ll get to put on my wedding dress. And then, finally, this fighter will get to be the beautiful, gentle maiden before her Lord after all.

4 Responses to “Justice Girl”

  1. Lindee Katdare says:

    I love your passion and envy your selflessness. I say that even more so after reading the book you shared with me. I am wired very differently and after reading that book, getting to know you, and being more open to listen to my Mother and sister, I have realized my “happy attitude” is really a “selfish attitude.” It is easier and feels so much better to not “feel” sometimes and “choose” to be happy. That has been my life quote and the way I have handled life.

    You have deep waters and you can’t just step out when it feels like you are drowning. That is who you are. You fight and feel every struggle with all that you have. I am sure it is exhausting, but it’s a blessing too. You are the kind of person that changes the world! I have thought about you so much lately. It does seem unfair that a soul like you, has had to suffer such heartache. Someone that is so genuine, and feels things on such a deeper level then the rest of us. I am thinking of you today and working on myself too.
    -Lindee

  2. leah says:

    I love you and could never tire of you. I may not join you in your intense passions, but the same injustices make my heart ache too. God is molding you into exactly who he wants you to be and I have learned so much about my own trials as I have witnessed you yielding to the Potter’s hands. Love you Rebecca!

  3. Autumn says:

    It is ironic because when i was attempting to process your loss of Dominic earlier in the year, I imagined all the energy that you had left that, you would leave all your “fights” behind. I thought you would have a new focus on love and in the moment type living. but slowly as you emerged from your grief the passion reemerged and like you describe… with a vengeance. Your voice was even stronger than pre-Dominic. But through this blog I understand much more your passion for it all and looking back I am so happy for you because you didn’t loose your sense of self or your voice or your passion and purpose. But i can only imagine how exhausting it is! As you know our voices are different on many of the issues you write about but I am still listening, reading, and learning.

  4. Mary Ann says:

    “If I had to boil it down, it would be a world characterized by two qualities: Love and Righteousness.

    “I’ll give you one guess as to which of those I’m better at addressing.”

    You make me laugh – at least you are self-aware. 🙂

    I used to be all about righteousness, even though I wasn’t exemplifying love (not that you aren’t, just talking about me). Age has mellowed me to have more of a balance, and less of a surety that what I think is God’s righteousness really reflects His own righteousness. I’m much more likely to let Him convict and I do more loving and less judging. I think we each have stages of our lives, and believe it or not, this stage of yours probably won’t last forever (which is a good thing, because it’s really tiring emotionally to fight injustice nonstop in a day and age when it’s in your face via the Internet all the time).

    I still am infuriated at injustice, but I’m much less sure of what constitutes righteousness than I used to be. Many may thing that’s wrong, and I won’t dispute them. But neither do I think they are right. Some things we see darkly.

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