Finding My Irreplaceable Thread in the Garment of Justice

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“In the garment of justice, your love is an irreplaceable thread.”

By Stephanie Motz Skinner | Twitter: @stephmotz

The word “justice” scares me. It’s not difficult to observe the world and recognise the countless ways in which some people suffer. Simply being offended by cruelty and exploitation actually requires very little of me. Action is far more expensive.

I think recognising an injustice can be a confrontational experience; even intimidating. By its very nature, injustice cries out for a rectification or a remedy. But with the magnitude of the pain we observe, it’s easy to feel defeated.

I felt encouraged then when I heard of a group of SheLoves sisters will be roadtripping to the Justice Conference in Portland, Oregon next week. The Justice Conference? I have never heard of such a thing, but what a brilliant testament to the fact that there are numbers of people out there now who realize it’s simply unacceptable to stay paralyzed by feelings of insignificance when we are awakened to the suffering in our world.

When I checked out the website from my home here in Uganda, I saw the Justice Conference has a beautiful message to share … a refreshing way of helping me understand what justice looks like.

“Justice,” they say, “is a garment, a billion threads, interwoven, interlocked, knit together with strength and integrity. Pull one thread from the fabric and the garment begins to fray.”

Some of the issues the conference will tackle are exploitation, human trafficking, hunger, genocide, gender violence, gender equality, the environment and immigration. Just reading through that list can seem terrifying, but it made me realize how much is at stake here. These issues are so entrenched in our world that nobody can contend against them alone. Every simple and small contribution is needed if we want to overcome them.

The promotional video for the conference ends with this powerful statement: “In the garment of justice, your love is an irreplaceable thread.” And I would add that each one of our voices and individual talents are also necessary. Maybe you’ve heard that before, but it really motivated me this month and I often need to remind myself of it.

Confession

I know we are not meant to be competing against each other, but the truth is, at times, I can feel insecure. Sometimes I find myself looking at what other people are doing to fight injustice and I can begin to believe I have nothing to offer or I’m not doing enough.

But, I’m learning we can’t all be running the same race. It is necessary that we each have something different to contribute. It’s natural that we each align our hearts with a specific issue … a calling that resonates in us individually. As I think of this, and I imagine the garment of justice, I see colour and diversity–an intricate and beautiful pattern.

There is space for all of us.

 Different issues, Different talents

I’m thankful that SheLoves opens doors of opportunity for us to respond to injustice. Here, we support each other and learn from each other’s experiences. We are invited to be a part of so many different stories, but we are also encouraged in our individual journeys.

I’ve seen here, at She Loves, how many of our sisters are driven to action because they are passionate about finding solutions to a specific issue, and they use what is in their hands to respond.

Let’s take one issue–human trafficking–as an example. I admire how Tara Teng used her platform as Miss Canada to shed light on the issue. We need women like Tara to speak out. But, we also need the people who invest their lives working in the field to rehabilitate women and children who have been rescued from slavery. We need women like Danielle, who used her voice and art to raise funds for Abolition International. We need women like Katherine and Annette, who are creating a film to raise awareness.

I appreciate that, even though we can’t do it all–we can’t all travel, create films, fundraise or speak in public–we can still be a part of other people’s journeys and they can be a part of ours. Whether we are cheering others on, donating or praying, we all have the opportunity to help keep the garment of justice together and I’m thankful that each thread matters.

I’m reminded again: None of us can do it all, but we can all do something.

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My dear SheLoves friends, I wonder:

  • What comes to mind when you hear the word “justice”?
  • Are you going to the Justice Conference?
  • What issues shake you and inspire you to act?

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About Stephanie:
I believe in the power of storytelling. I’m a photographer and writer for Fakeleft. Together with my husband, we love sharing stories of courage, of strength in the face of adversity, of triumph and hope. I truly believe that by partnering with others who want to bring change and justice to our world, we can actually make a difference.  I’m learning to walk in my nascent faith, but it’s not always easy. It’s an interesting journey.

I am currently living in Uganda, but my heart is everywhere. I’m a proud Latina from Choluteca, Honduras. I wish I had a Spanish accent. My favourite meal is dessert and my favourite sport is tanning. I blog at fakeleft.com/blog and tweet at @stephmotz

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