Today I have made real progress on my essay!
Seriously, praise God, because I really felt like I’d hit a bit of a mental block this last week and was struggling to know how to weave everything together.
I feel like writing an essay is a bit like painting a picture (well, my messy-kind-of-style-of-painting a picture!)
You use layers of theory that build it up into something beautiful.
You bring the different fabrics and materials of far-reaching concepts together until there is clarity.
You paint the detail and finish of application over the foundational-block-colour of ideas.
But (and there’s always a but…) there is always that moment just before it all comes together where you step back to critically examine your work and see… A mess!
And you wonder if the beauty of the picture will ever shine through.
And that point, right there, is where my essay has been for about two weeks!
But today, it started to shine… Just a little…
Jesus, Justice and Welfare Reform: a response to Liberalism.
That’s my pretty definite finished title.
Telling the stories of two of the young women that I work with.
Two young women who are the victims of societal injustice.
How these reforms affect their lives in the everyday. What they will eat. Where they will live. How they will dress their children.
Telling their stories.
Using their voices.
And looking at why liberalism doesn’t go far enough.
Because justice has to be more than fairness.
And more than individualistic rights and ambitions.
So much more.
Into generous justice.
And the mercy of God.
Because justice is getting what we deserve, but mercy is getting what we don’t.
Grace we don’t deserve.
And today I’ve been listening to a song that’s been based on Psalm 113.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
From this time forth and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the setting of the same.
The name of the Lord is to be praised.
The perfect soundtrack to my day, my thoughts and my meditations.
I love this Psalm.
God the Helper of the Needy.
Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord; praise the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time on and forevermore. From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised. The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people. He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!
He’s just so good. His mercies are new every morning.
His love never quits.
And His wonders never-ever cease.
And just like I know, eventually beauty will come through the refining of my essay, my words and my structure; so I more than know that God will bring beauty from ashes and raise up what had been broken as something whole and restored.