Monday, April 2, 2012

Plumblines for Justice

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking back to my office after meeting with friends for lunch when we saw an innocent construction worker standing on the corner. I have no doubt our simultaneous reaction to him caught him off guard as we exclaimed, "Plumbline!" and immediately asked to take our picture with him.
With my co-worker Chett and our local
plumbline-holding construction worker.
Photo Courtesy of Amy Stapleton
You see: for me, a plumbline has become much, much more than a construction tool. It is now a reminder of our theme verse for the organization I work for, the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA). At MFSA, we often quote Amos 7:8, "I am setting a plumbline in the midst of my people, I will never again pass them by." Plumblines help us to stay level, to keep on track, and at MFSA, to stay in line with the justice to which we are called to bring to God's creation.

Fast forward a week and I cross that same street as we arrive in front of the US Supreme Court Building to take part in the Affordable Health Care Witness. This time, I am walking on the exact same corner talking to folks and listening for good quotes I can tweet as I carry a sign (pictured below) that reads, "People of Faith for Heath Care!"

The photos we took throughout during the witness have become some of the most commented-on posts on MFSA's Facebook page. It has led me to reflect on why and how, which has become a great inner-dialogue about more than social media strategies. It has also been an invitation to consider what we do that matters, that affects lives, that allows people we are working so hard for to truly know that we care. How does our work impact individual lives?

Most of the time, it doesn't. It feels like red tape or too much paperwork. But the reality is, it does. It trickles down. It leads to small moments like a staff outing to the Supreme Court (less than 1 block from our office) so we can stand together, firm like plumblines of justice who are called to step in on behalf of those whose voices are not being heard. Our national platform allows our voices to be heard as those of faith leaders who care about all people and take seriously Jesus' call to care for the sick.

We are just a collective group of imperfect people trying to (and often falling short of) living our lives in accordance with the call Jesus has placed on us. Imperfect or not, moments like these are the ones that make me grateful for the opportunity to do this work to which I am called, with nothing less than the best team I have ever had the privilege of working with.
MFSA staff in front of the Methodist Building following
the Affordable Health Care Witness on March 26

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