I am, what some might refer to as, a hot head.
Me, age 11 (bottom right) with my family at Knotts Berry Farm 🙂
My temper flares, my patience unravels, my emotions explode… and sometimes collateral damage is shed on those around me. I am not a hot head, just for the hell of it. There is always a logical reason stirring beneath emotions which can lead to my eruptions. Sometimes I do fly off the handle for no reason, but most of the time, there is a completely logical reason, underlying the outbursts – I become enraged when it comes to acts of unfair treatment. My anger stems from my desire to see justice.
When I was growing up, I wanted to be a lawyer. Why? There were 3 reasons I was planning to go the law route, which made perfect sense to me: I was good at yelling, I was good at arguing and I had an overarching desire to see justice. In school, I loved studying, talking about, and writing reports on subjects like the Holocaust, racism and abortion. I enjoyed discussing why things in our history were wrong. Unjust. Should. not. have. happened (and should not be currently happening) Yes. I was a fun child to be around.
While ideas of what actually constitutes injustice might vary, even varying levels of injustice, my interpretation is from Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with Your God?” As a kid, and now as an adult, I desire to see justice. I desire to love kindness and to walk humbly with my God. All of these actions are forms of love we have a responsibility to live out as Christians. As a Christ follower, I have a life calling to do justice.
I never became a lawyer, but I am still responsible for justice. Growing up, I had no problem bringing the court into the playground and standing up for justice. Kids can be mean! I sensed a calling to be the playground policewoman. I placed myself on the stand as the judge, responsible for pounding the gavel and calling the bullies into order, and sentencing any unfair treatment my ears heard about or my eyes laid hold of… at school, on the playground, and at home.
One afternoon, my brother and I were playing in our front yard, creating sidewalk chalk masterpieces on our driveway. At the time, I was 11 years old and my brother was 9. Two of our neighbors, who were brothers, came over and began to bother us. They started throwing water balloons around our chalk artwork, and I told them to stop it. They did not stop and continued throwing the water balloons, each time nearing closer and closer to us, threatening to hit us with one of their balloons. It may appear as innocent water play, but their actions were not innocent. Unfortunately, we had a like/hate relationship with these brothers. Some days we could play together having a great time, and the next day, they would act like jerks and treat us like crap. Some days they were our best friends and other days they were our worst enemies. I knew that. They did not stop throwing the balloons, even though I had asked them kindly to do so.
So. I. Snapped.
“GO TO HELL!”
I yelled at the brothers and they ran home.
My brother and I ran inside to tell our mom what had just happened. Heavy breathing, holding back tears… we cried out to our mom, “It’s not fair! We were just playing, not bothering them. They wouldn’t leave us alone. I told them to go to hell!” Our mom, listened with understanding ears, and gently corrected my overreaction. “Perhaps, next time you come inside and ask me to help you before telling them to go to hell.”
A few moments later, <<<knock, knock, knock>>>. The brothers mother was at our front door. “Did your daughter just tell MY SONS to go to hell?” Yes. My mom calmly replied. She asked their mother, “Did your boys tell you what they were doing to my kids first?” That shut her up. My mom was fully aware of our on again/off again friends/enemies relationship with the brothers. She knew how they sometimes treated us. She was proud of us for standing up for justice on the driveway.
Today I still desire to stand up for justice. It is at the core of my every longing, intertwined with my very being. The injustice in this world is daunting. My heart cries out for all forms of injustice of every form, especially the injustice which takes shape as modern-day slavery and sexual trafficking. Anyone can google statistics on these subjects and become informed. The more information we know, the more we become aware of the level of injustice happening today. The more we are aware, the more we can intercede and pray. The more we intercede and pray, God will show us how and where to respond.
I have asked the Lord, “Why won’t You just eradicate slavery and human trafficking?” You can end it with a miracle. I believe these are the most unjust forms of behavior in our world today. And I believe God is eradicating this injustice, through His people. There are many amazing organizations praying, working and rescuing. One of the most life changing documentaries you can see on this subject is Nefarious: Merchant of Souls. Warning: it is not for the faint of heart and it will change your life.
So I asked the Lord, “Why?” and His answer has come in many ways – through His people. God is asking me, He is asking us, ‘Who and what are we fighting for today? Who and what are we defending today?’ We are all called to do something. I believe it is time we stand up, take notice, become informed and become the everyday justice police in our families, on the playgrounds, in our communities, and in our world. It is time to tell human trafficking to “Go to Hell!” We must respond to the call – As a Christ follower, I have a life calling to do justice.
In Him, Leslie
*You may disagree with my “Go to Hell!” approach for a start to calling out injustice. What’s Yours?