Last week my four year old son decided to play with four decks of playing cards all at once. He spread every last card across the the playroom floor. When I asked him to clean up, the mess only grew. The task was too much for him to handle alone. When my daughter and I came alongside him the task became easier, even fun.
Fighting for freedom is the same. This mess is too big for anyone to face alone. It’s overwhelming. To be in this fight you’re going to need a friend.
I have a few friends who ‘get it.’ They understand why I only buy fair chocolate and fair coffee. They know that for me this fight isn’t far away, in another country, under someone else’s control. These friends know bringing freedom to people is close to my heart. They are the ones who encourage me when my resolve slips or I start to feel like the task is too big.
If you’re new to this journey you’ll need a friend too. Let me share with you some ways to find other people who are passionate about freedom.
- Pray. Ask God to light a fire for freedom in others and help you connect with them.
- Start a book club or small group around The Hole in Our Gospel, Refuse to do Nothing, or another book about injustice in our world.
- Host a Noonday Collection Trunk Show. This is a great way to find friends who love fashion and justice as much as you do. You can even post your show to Facebook for a wider reach.
- Look for groups that already exist. Perhaps your church has a ministry to the homeless you can join. Women of Vision has chapters all over the US. Connect with your local food pantry or shelter. You’ll find people in all of these places with a mission for justice.
- Enter a charity race. Broadcast on your Facebook page that you’re looking for friends who want to run a marathon, walk a 5k, or run in an obstacle race to raise awareness about human trafficking. You might be surprised at those who are willing to join you.
- Finally (if I may) invite people to read Intentional Jane. All are welcome here. You may find a friend when someone likes or comments on a post you share.
What to do When People Don’t Get It
There will be people who do not understand your passion. Some people will see no reason to change their shopping habits, research brands for fair labor practices, or donate to the cause of freedom. You will encounter people like this everywhere you go. When you speak up about ending slavery people may look at you like slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation and You. Are. Nuts. Perhaps they will tell you to stop watching the news, how it’s just not practical for them to live that way, and the problem is to big for any one person to make a difference.
If you’re like me, you’ll wonder why they can’t see the importance of freedom for everyone. Your desire to learn and live like freedom matters will grow in your heart and you may feel slighted when others do not join the fight for what seem like selfish reasons.
My advice, walk gracefully and live your convictions. Explain your choices – without judgment – and offer to buy them a fair trade coffee and chat about freedom whenever they’re ready. Your resolve to act will do far more good than guilt tripping or shame.
Be a joyful agent for change. Others will come eventually. Just keep living like freedom matters. And until you find a friend in your neighborhood, I’m here. I get it. Let’s be friends.
How have you found friends who share your passion for freedom? How has having a friend helped you on your journey?