Today marks our 100th post here at IndiAanya!
What began as a little seed of an idea has grown into a community of ladies (and some guys!) from all over the world. I’m grateful of all writers who have shared their stories of joy, heartbreak, learning and growth. We can't wait for 100 more.
When we began we really didn’t know what to expect. Would people even read or would we silently disappear after a few months of trying to connect with an audience or would we be able to grow little by little? Thankfully, we’ve heard from so many of you that you love coming to this space to find a cool breeze of encouragement in what can be sometimes a sea of criticism, slander and distressing news.
Over the next seven weeks things will be a bit quiet around here. We’re giving our writers and editors a little break to refocus and regroup. So if you come here, please feel free to scroll back through the archives and read some posts you may have missed or loved and meet us back here August 3rd for some fresh, new words of encouragement.
I’ve known for some time that I would be writing the 100th post, but knowing and actually writing are two different things.
A procrastinator by nature, I kept waiting for inspiration to strike when this past weekend it did. Two things converged that started me pondering on the call of the Christ-follower to pursue justice and mercy and truth. And when we do, how that changes our lives and sometimes history.
The first thing was I had started reading “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer. I knew nothing about the book before I began, but as I was reading this past weekend it just so happened that it was the 71st anniversary of D Day. And the book, having the historical theme of the German occupation of Guernsey during WWII, collided with real life. So I spent the weekend thinking of the sufferings of so many (I also may have watched a History Channel documentary or two) and how it was possible then and now for people to treat human life with such cruelty while the world watches on.
It was not a light and fluffy weekend. This is not a light and fluffy post. Maybe I should have posted a recipe. I digress.
But all weekend my mind kept going back to the war and I kept imagining how it must have felt as a Jewish mother who had her children taken away from her or had to watch them starve to death in a concentration camp.
I kept imagining how it would have felt to be a nineteen-year-old soldier landing on Utah beach with bullets whizzing by and men on every side falling to the ground. And that feeling of finally making it onto the beach only to be trapped between the enemy and the rising tide.
Or I imagined sitting at home in London when suddenly bombs start raining down and you have to run for cover, not sure if you will all make it or if you will have a home when it’s all over.
The war was brutal. And so much was lost. But what more would have been lost if Hitler had had his way in the end?
What if the rest of the world just sat by and let the madness of the Third Reich blaze through Europe unchallenged? Many knew what was going on but felt powerless against Hitler and Germany’s propaganda and rhetoric. In the end it took uncommon courage to stand up and condemn the horrors that were going on.
My knowledge of the history of this time is not exhaustive by any stretch of the imagination, but the question of “How did this happen?” kept popping up in my mind. And of course there is no straight-line answer. Though I believe, it was true then as it has always been, that too often the silence of those who could have spoken up and should have early on, allowed a deeply flawed ideology to flourish and sin to abound.
Because sin, left unchecked and not accounted for, only grows, not diminishes.
And when we see injustice and sin and keep silent when it is within our power to speak up and cause change, we too are held accountable.
Whether that is defending the poor from blatant injustice or whether it’s holding those in leadership accountable for unscrupulous actions or whether it’s confronting a brother or sister in Christ when we see they are walking away from truth in ways harmful to themselves or others—we have a responsibility to show love not by silence but by using our voice. And if we doubt whether or not it matters, history is a great reminder of what happens when people choose silence over speaking up.
One of my favorite verses that I think often is Micah 6:8:
He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Acting justly and having a heart of mercy and putting away pride so you can understand the heart of God.
Justice and mercy require action, stepping out of comfortable and sometimes into controversy. It's not easy, but it is required. Walking humbly also means being willing to be laid low so He can be made much of. So what is seen in me, isn't me, but God through me. And when God is working through me I desire a life full of justice and mercy and humility. Leaning into Him inevitably means leaning away from the world and its ways.
So while we break for a while I encourage you to search for ways to be a voice for justice and mercy where you are. Perhaps there is a way in which God wants you to act. I encourage you to be brave even though it's hard. IndiAanya was birthed out of the idea that everyone has a voice and it's not just the loudest and strongest that gets to be heard. But that we have all been made in the image of God and have our stories to tell. What's yours?
Photo Credit: Jenny Martin