October 27, 2010

Finding my focus

Two years ago, when I decided to get a Masters in Social Justice, I looked forward to using the degree program to help me clarify my focus. Social Justice is a broad term that covers everything from immigrant rights, to race relations, to food and beyond. I struggled with trying to identify where my passions fit. Where was I called to work? To say that I was interested in "social justice" is just too broad and I knew I had to pick an area more specific.

I have struggled with picking a focus area and graduated the program without the clarification of a focus that I sought. Fortunately, through my work at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary this semester and thanks to a Christian Educators Fellowship conference that I attended this weekend, I think my focus area is finally becoming more clear.

I feel like I am called to work to build relationships. We live in a society that emphasizes individualism. Today, more than ever, we live in a world of broken relationships. Our relationships between each other are broken, weak, or even non-existent. The same holds true for our relationship with God. These two types of relationships are dependent on each other. If we do not have relationships with each other, it is difficult to have a strong relationship with God. And I believe that if we do not have a strong relationship with God (under whatever name one may call God) it is difficult to have strong relationships with each other.

And so more and more, I am feeling a call to facilitate the mending of the broken relationships that exist around me. My definition of social justice falls into this understanding of relationships. I define social justice as "living in right relationship." I feel called to examine relationships around me and to work to make them right. I feel called to help build community and to create a world of love where relationships are valued.