Tuesday, August 23, 2011
On Friday night, we had a girls night out... pizza and a movie! Seriously, this movie is without a doubt worthy of all the hype it's getting. And not that I'm any kind of film expert, but I thought the acting was convincing and the direction and filming were great. Again, I'm no expert, but I do admit to watching movies with the directors commentary turned on... multiple times in some cases... sometimes followed by watching the movie again without it (i.e. The Family Stone- love that one). Call me nerdy, I don't care. I've learned things I never would have otherwise and it's made me notice and appreciate good movies much more.
Anyway... back to The Help. There are so many different undercurrents, but the one that stands out most to me is injustice. Throughout the story we see injustice between races, social classes, peers, employer and employee, mother and daughter and probably a few more that I can't remember. It is shown through race specific restrooms for the maids, gossiping about and then shunning the new girl in town, extreme social manipulation, false accusations leading to arrest and imprisonment and diaper rash due to a lack of Shirley Temple cuteness.
As expected, the reactions to these injustices are all over the board. A few swallow their pride and follow the rules, one is too tenderhearted to realize the injustice being done to her, several find self motivation and determination to stay the course, one is driven to revenge through chocolate pie and many find their voice through the injustice. Last, but not least, one cries at the window as her source of true love and acceptance is forced from her life.
My blood pressure rises at the thought of these examples having real-life merit. I say that because although most of these examples are historical fact in the South, I am at least three generations removed from any East coast ancestry, none of which lived south of North Carolina. I find it absolutely unfathomable that anyone could have such juvenile thinking... let alone a whole country. But now we're off track. The point is... how do I react to injustices I see done to others? How should I react? To what extent should they spur action?
And even more revealing is how I react to injustices done to me. How should I react? To what extent should I defend myself? Should they spur any action all? Does my reaction reflect an active relationship with Jesus? Have I sought His wisdom and direction? Have I spent time in His biography enough to know how He might have reacted? Do I even have a desire to react as He would have? I pray I do, but I know myself well enough to know that even the desire to be like Him is evidence of His grace.
There is much that could be said and much scripture that could be quoted and used to defend one point or another, but I have no desire to manipulate scripture to prove a point. Not that I even know which point I'd attempt to prove. This theme of injustice has been on my heart for the last few days and I know from experience that's usually the Spirit. Every situation of injustice is different. Seek Jesus in them all. Be open to His leading.
Sometime in that moment between awake and asleep on Sunday morning, this scripture (the bold part) popped into my head. It won't leave.
Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
1 Peter 2: 13 - 24
In the midst of injustices, if we pause to spend time with our Saviour, we hear him whispering "You are kind. You are smart. You are important." We find peace and rest knowing who we are in Him and knowing that nothing on earth can change how He feels about us.