Wednesday, December 5

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Expressing Gratitude: Civility and Human Rights
Scripture: James 1:17

“Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

A month or so after I moved to Boulder, I met a woman through a weekly spirituality group who uses her life experiences and passions to challenge others in the fight for justice. Helen is in her 70s, and through her career as a public health nurse, she has learned to deconstruct stereotypes, look past physical appearances, and see every human as a unique child of God. She pushes me to break out of my comfort zone, to lean into the uncomfortable, and learn to understand people who are different from me. She consistently coordinates outreach opportunities with groups representing various marginalized populations within the community.

Helen has shown me that every human is a unique child of God, and I am called to love them as God loves me. Jesus advocated for the poor and the oppressed, giving his life as an example for us to follow. He called out the unjust social structures that stripped the poor of resources and made the wealthy more powerful. Helen has helped me see that Jesus preached a gospel of liberation for the disenfranchised. If I truly want to be a follower of Christ, I must take up my cross of white privilege, and place myself in the shoes of another. For we are all created in the image of God, and what I do to the most outcast and forgotten of my sisters and brothers, I do to Christ.

Jesus, may the most generous act I commit be for your greater glory. May I always see your face when I gaze into the eyes of the poor. May I always have the courage to resist social norms and act radically, counter to my culture, in my love for you. You lived and died so that I might have life. Little did I know, my life in you begins when I die unto myself for the sake of your Gospel. Amen.

~Annie Hayes