We want to be people who respond well to this crisis. But we also want to be people who are ready to deal with the problems that are exposed by the aftermath. What will you do once this disease has been beaten, once restrictions have been lifted and you are free to go about your lives? There are so many everyday things that I will be so much more grateful for. I’m sure we will experience a range of emotions – there will be grief around what has been lost, but there will also be joy and celebration around things that are starting to be rediscovered.
I hope that, as Just Love, we will engage with that grief and joy too. But I also hope that we will be raring to go in our pursuit of justice. There will still be homelessness, there will still be poverty, there will still be modern slavery, there will still be climate change. I’m hoping that once we’re released from this crisis, we will be really up for taking on some of the other crises that have been there all along.
In his blog post a few days ago, Josh talked about the temptation to withdraw from this crisis – to bury ourselves in novels and Netflix. There’s some space for this, definitely – I’ve enjoyed finishing off the Alex Rider books and re-watching some of Gilmore Girls. Of course we want to rest and switch off – but we also want to use this time to prepare.
The extent to which we can pursue justice is so often limited by our skills and knowledge. We have some time here to raise that ceiling so that in future we can pursue justice in ever more effective ways. Let’s strengthen the theological foundations around why and how we pursue justice. Let’s learn about the spiritual rhythms that will help us walk the difficult path of justice for life. Let’s learn about leadership – about communication, strategy, time management, investing in others. Let’s learn about impact – deepen our knowledge about different justice issues, think about the principles that will enable us to pursue justice effectively and make the most difference possible for the people who need it.
We want to encourage the whole Just Love community to use this time to strengthen your knowledge and skills around theology, leadership, and impact. We’ll be releasing some recommended material around these areas that you can read or watch, and we’ll also run some virtual discussion groups around particular books and topics so that we can explore some of this together. We’ll also be developing some of our own content around this that we’ll release later in the spring and summer.
When this crisis begins to lift, we want to be ready for the next one. There will be more challenges ahead of us – in the next 5, 10, 20, 40 years. What will you stand for in those moments? What sort of disciple will you be? What sort of leader will you be? Coronavirus has demonstrated the need for leadership – for people who have the competence and compassion to make decisions that benefit the most vulnerable. We’ve seen the need for cooperation across society – the need for politics, business, healthcare, media, church, and every other sphere to work together. This is the great hope of Just Love – that we would see leaders of integrity, compassion and brilliance across all spheres of society – people who are collaborating, co-conspiring in a relentless pursuit of justice.
Will you use this time to get ready?