Everybody Needs an Advocate

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[ DOWN WE GO]
M_KathyThe other day I was in court watching my husband, a pro bono lawyer at a Christian legal aid clinic, during a hearing. He’s been practicing for seven years, but it was the first time I saw him in action. He was representing a mom from The Refuge, the faith community I co-pastor, in a tricky custody case. During the hearing, he called four witnesses from our community; as each one of them stood bravely on the stand and told of the ways that this mom and child had an incredible support network, I was overwhelmed with love and gratitude.

And I kept thinking—this is why everybody needs an advocate.

My friend needed someone to help her through this painful process. She needed friends. She needed men and women brave enough to speak truth and wisdom and grace and love into her life. She needed community. She needed to be empowered, especially after having so much of it stripped over the years.

And here’s her reality (and reality for most everyone): Empowerment isn’t going to drop out of the sky.

We need help gaining it.

We need help nurturing it.

We need help leaning into it.

Advocates empower.

Advocates strengthen.

Advocates encourage.

Advocates believe when we can’t.

Advocates come alongside us and help us move and grow and use our voices and become more free.

I am more convinced than ever that everybody needs an advocate sometimes. I know I do.

We need people who stand beside us and help us when we are hurting. We need people who step in and care when no one else does. We need people who will offer their wisdom and perspectives but let us make our own decisions. We need people who will be our cheerleaders, encouraging and supporting our dreams. We need people who will help us find our voice when we can’t seem to.

We need people to hold our hand and bring us a yummy coffee and slip us notes that remind us to hope and text us to see how we are doing and tell us we’re worth it and stand shoulder to shoulder with us when we feel alone and make us laugh and remind us to make that call we are dreading and look us in the eyes and tell us our dreams are worth it and help us be brave.

When it’s all said and done, maybe that’s what advocates really do—they help people be brave, to do hard things scared.

That’s what my friend really needed. Some people to help her do this hard thing.

The interesting part to me is that all of her advocates have advocates, too. Every single one of us, in different ways, is an advocate and has an advocate.

I have no doubt, we all need an advocate and we all can be one, too. I really think that is what God has called us to do for each other—to be an advocate. And let others advocate for us.

In the kingdom of God, we all give. We all receive. We all need. We all empower.

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Kathy Escobar
Kathy Escobar co-pastors The Refuge, a Christian community and mission center in North Denver. A trained spiritual director, speaker, and advocate, she also blogs regularly about life and faith at kathyescobar.com and is the author of Faith Shift and Down We Go—Living out the Wild Ways of Jesus. A mom of 5 young adults and teens, she is married to Jose and lives in Arvada, Colorado.
Kathy Escobar

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  • Bev Murrill

    And if we sin, we have an Advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

    Thanks so much for causing me to remember, Kathy, that our Advocate has deposited even that aspect of Himself into His people, and that we don’t just need to advocate for those who are good, but for those who need help, a hand. We all need someone who, without harsh judgement, is willing to lean down and give us some of their strength and encouragement to get back up again when so many others want to walk on by, whispering or screaming that we deserve what we got.

    Bless your husband… what a perfect picture of our Advocate – not that this lady is perfect or even has to be; he is there for her anyway.

  • Melinda Cadwallader

    This is so beautiful, Kathy. Thank you for the reminder that we are here to HELP one another, to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I am passionate about this issue becuase I recognized how many times in my life that I needed an advocate and there was no one willing to take the risk for me. So now, I choose to be this for others – to stand alongside as a pillar – the vessel where empowerment can flow through and into another. This word was so perfect for me today, thank you!

    • thanks, melinda. it does seem like every advocate does so because of our past experiences somehow. it reminds me of 2 corinthians 1, that we comfort others with the comfort we have received (or, that we wish we had received :))

  • Nicole A. Joshua

    “Advocates come alongside us and help us move and grow and use our voices and become more free.” This line makes me want to punch the air with my fist and say, “Yes,” What an amazing post Kathy. Thank you.

    • thanks, nicole. love hearing people’s responses to advocacy,

  • pastordt

    Beautifully done, Kathy. Thank you. And thank your husband, too. How did it work out?

    • she got the rights that she needed to get 🙂

  • Jemelene

    Advocate…such an honored place to come alongside others and help give them courage to stand.
    Love this.

  • HelenBurns

    Kathy, what a powerful and important message this carries. Your words spoke loudly to me: ‘Empowerment isn’t going to drop out of the sky.We need help gaining it. We need help nurturing it. We need help leaning into it…’

    Thank you and your wonderful husband for teaching me beautifully today. Your lives bless me greatly.

    Helen xo

  • Guest

    I love this and I really needed to read it. I think it is easy for me to advocate for others, but sometimes my pride prevents me from allowing others to come along side me.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    I grew up in Aurora! Love my fellow Coloradans!

    • yay for colorado! i totally know what you mean. it’s way easier for me to advocate for someone else than to let them advocate for me.

  • I love this! I think there is a huge difference between advocating for someone and talking over their voice. What a beautiful piece.

    Also, I grew up in Littleton! Colorado love!!

    • thanks, nicole. that is so true, real advocates help others find theirs that has been lost….

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  • Advocates empower.

    yes. and amen.

  • Saskia Wishart

    “The interesting part to me is that all of her advocates have advocates, too.” Love this line of truth here Kathy!

  • mkholmberg

    Agreed, Kathy! Advocating is one of the works of the Body, right? (I’m a CO girl, relocated to Idaho, but will be speaking at a retreat in Breckenridge next fall — maybe I’ll look up your church for a visit!)

    • that’d be great, just email me and would love to have you stop by.

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