- The author suggests that the work of justice begins in gratitude rather than demand. How do you distinguish between the actions of gratitude and the actions of demand—in your prayer life, in your daily activities, in justice work?
- When have you noticed the effectiveness of “demand” in producing change? When have you noticed that “gratitude” is effective in producing change? How do the two approaches inform one another?
- How do you respond to the author’s observation that “repair is not our job”? How is God remaking the world? How is God remaking you?
Dropping Our Demands
“Take nothing with you.” - Luke 9:3 (GNT)
Do we have a right to repair? Or, every time our cell phone gets a crack in it, must we buy a new one? Apple and Verizon think so. I think not.
Do we have an obligation to fix things that are broken—like our relationships or our earth? I think not. Repair is not our job. We are here to enjoy the creation, not fix it.
I get irked often at my beloved “left” and its complaints about God’s world. “We demand justice now.” “We demand full employment.” “We demand an end to racism and sexism and homophobia now.” These phrases could be rephrased and restored: “We love justice. We love all kinds of people. So does God.”
Instead of the hammer and nail of demands, we could choose the anointing cloths of praise. We could get better at articulating our hopes for the kind of world God made and remakes. We could travel more lightly if we dropped our demands along the way and picked up our gratitude gear.
We certainly can’t be complacent about rampant injustice. But we can approach our long journey in a different way, any day we want.
We can choose how we walk our way. We can travel it with great confidence in our right to repair and our capacity to tend things that are broken. We can stop listening to the very hubris of “repair” and join the party of God’s remaking.
O God, fix our fix-it mentality and help us to lose it along the way.