07 May 2012

How to Endure and Thrive in Social Justice Work


For years, I thought community was the very thing that would make it possible for me to stay faithful to my service in the world. But it wasn’t long before the face of community started changing. The same group of us that started the work together hasn’t ended up together. People come and go and relationships change. After several years of living in community and doing my best to respond to a world of need and always coming up short in meeting those needs, I found my faith, hope and determination to work for change shaken. The answers I’d heard over and over again growing up in the pews of mid-America weren’t meeting the very real challenges of inequality, oppression and exploitation that I encountered on a daily basis. It was then that I was introduced to the rich heritage of contemplation and my life and service since has been transformed from the inside out and has endured for nearly two decades. Contemplative spirituality, more than anything else, has made it possible for me to stay engaged in social justice work.

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