by Maria Marballi
“A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not be disheartened or crushed until He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.” Isaiah 42: 3-4
Merely a few months ago, this text would have been placed in the “very powerful, but very irrelevant” folder of my mental filing cabinet. That’s great that God’s plan involves justice, but how many people are really relying on it to survive?
Fast-forward to the first week of the pureJUSTICE internship when I couldn’t get through the day without holding steadfast to the promises in Isaiah 42. My sheltered mind knew little of the evils of modern-day slavery, and now my eyes and ears have been opened to more of the injustices that people experience in one day than I have yet in my almost twenty years of life.
I had become desensitized to the reality of such devastation that I couldn’t feel the power of God’s Word in passages such as these. I couldn’t feel the anticipation, the confidence, or the conviction. I didn’t feel the pressing need for justice to prevail from the hand of God.
Now, however, my heart rejoices over Scripture in new ways. With a fresh lens I can delve into the Word and experience the insight that was intended to be experienced. This internship is teaching me how to not only read Scripture, but how to feel the power and majesty of God’s sovereignty through the eyes of the oppressed. After having statistics, documentaries, and testimonies impressed upon my mind, I can experience Scripture from a new vantage point. I think often upon the plagued and beset; I imagine the trafficked prostitute hanging on every promise written by God: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).
“My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed” (Isaiah 56:1).
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).
“Surely I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).
There is authority when read through the eyes of the downtrodden and oppressed. There is hope. God’s pursuing hand used pureJUSTICE to open my heart to feel His unfailing love and to seek the justice He will, and is, establishing.
Though there are many challenges faced when confronted with the devastating reality of trafficking and exploitation, I have been relentlessly reminded: He is faithful. He is just. He is on His throne. Our Lord is on His throne, and there He always will be, and there we will see Him the day He brings us home.
“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”
(Click here for full lyrics to His Eye Is on the Sparrow)
Maria Marballi is a sophomore at The Ohio State University and is currently serving as a 2012 pureJUSTICE intern.