I’ve always hated the phrase, “The devil’s in the details.”
I’ve never understood why good people would allow for evil, or at best, mediocrity to rear its ugly head in conversations and strategies for equity.
Our work towards building a just, more inclusive community more reflective of God’s image is stalled because our inconvenience is rationalized. “Well, we need to hire people of color, but they just don’t apply.” Or, “Fair trade is a good idea, but those companies are hard to get ahold of. Let’s just go with the people who called us back. They’re cheap and we can get our swag in 2 days!”
Who did we invite to apply? How did we post the ad? Where did we post the ad? Can we call those companies again or find an email? Can we plan ahead in order to allow companies the time to work responsibly with us?
Our work together demands stepping beyond who and what we know. There is inherent discomfort in that, and yet, often times the easy, convenient, comfortable way is the dominant way that has created the unjust system we say we want to transform.
This stretch of imagination translates into longer processes, more meetings, more conversations, more resources. But unless we are willing to prioritize the question of inclusion and be inconvenienced by its demands, transformation will not happen.
Our love affair with convenience is tearing our communities apart.
Jesus was tempted to take the easy way out. His defiant “no” to the devil, even in his most vulnerable state, inspires us to take courage and do the same.
Trust in Jesus’ way. When you are overwhelmed and think, “This work is too hard,” try again. Who needs to be involved? Is there another way? Then, let God in.
- Can you name the barrier to equity, inclusion, and justice where you work, go to school, or live?
- Which of your conveniences are you willing to change for the greater glory of God?
- Jesus had angels who ministered to him. Are there people who are signs of courage, hope, purpose, and care for you?
Jocelyn A. Sideco is a retreat leader, spiritual director and innovative minister who specializes in mission-centered ministry. She directs the Community Service and Social Justice office at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, Calif., prays at St. Agnes Church, blogs for NCRonline.org, and consults with organizations like the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Visit her online ecumenical ministry, In Good Company, at ingoodcompany.net.co or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.