If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength being small; if you hold back from rescuing those taken away to death, those who go staggering to the slaughter; if you say, “Look, we did not know this”— does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it? And will he not repay all according to their deeds?
“My voice isn’t enough to change things.”
“I don’t have the power to do anything about it.”
“THEY won’t listen to me.”
“The little I can do won’t make a difference.”
Have you ever caught yourself thinking these things? I know I have. Beliefs like this can make us feel stuck and ineffective, losing hope, and perhaps even feeling guilty that we thought it pointless to try.
You may have heard reports of the large number of deaths within the stadium construction crew for the World Cup. Many migrant workers, seeking a better life and a steady income instead found their personal safety put at risk and an all-too premature end to their lives. What can we do in the face of such injustice? Do we get angry for a moment, then move on to the next news story?
As I write this reflection, I can just hear the shouts and cheers drifting from my local football stadium. It’s a few miles away, but they are loud; the volume undulating as the ball cuts a path from one side of the pitch to the other. The sound doesn’t have a direct effect on the ball (this isn’t blow football!) but it does have an effect on the players. Football fans are sometimes referred to as ‘the twelfth player’.
I believe the writer of the Biblical passage offers both challenge and reassurance to those of us who feel weak and powerless to act against the injustices we see. Those who are in denial have no excuse. But if your heart is heavy, the One who ‘weighs the heart’ knows it. Justice, ultimately, is in God’s hands.
And yet, our voices together do make a difference. Find fans of justice who will shout, cheer, write letters, share videos, hold a banner, march, sign a petition, boycott, tweet, or whatever else they can do to amplify the voices of the oppressed. Be that ‘twelfth player’ who cheers on those who seek justice today.
Weigher of my heart, you know my concerns and cares, when I feel weak and powerless to act. You know when I would rather turn the page, click the next link, and hide injustice from my eyes.
Until the day when justice comes, help me find a community who together will shout for justice and change the game. Amen
Roo Stewart is Programme Support Officer for URC Church & Society and a member of the Joint Public Issues Team