Working for social justice is not glamorous. It’s a commitment—one that is sometimes made daily. This past spring break I accompanied students on an immersion, as I do each break, this time in Guyana. These immersions always seem to come at the right time, when I am questioning God and the commitment I have made over the years to serving others.
At times I have questioned God for allowing my life to be seemingly lacking in obstacles in comparison to the resiliency and tenderness of the communities I have encountered—like those in Guyana. In those communities, the faith and understanding are overflowing. I’ve questioned what I decide to raise my voice for, what I decide to push, and have at times put blame on God.
After each immersion, I leave with a heart broken—yet filled at the same time. This week I’m left with a heart of cracks and bruises from witnessing the realities the indigenous people in Guyana are facing—drought, lack of technology, minimal resources and jobs, environmental crisis. Yet it’s a heart filled with laughter and light from the understanding that God is in all things—the earth around us, the mutuality of learning, the realization that we are all connected to one another and the Mother Earth.
Each morning as I awoke to the roosters and the tolls of church bells in Guyana before the sun came up, I was reminded of the commitment I am making. The commitment the communities are making without choice. My commitment to my God and forming relationships. We each have a light within us that burns differently. These passages of today remind me to recall what sets me on fire; what gets me out of bed each morning and what fills me with joy and gratitude.
We all are imperfectly perfect in God’s eyes, and no matter what we do, no matter what sins we commit, or whether we blame God for our misfortunes or injustice, God will always love us. God will always show us the light through the darkness. As Fr. Mario said in Guyana—“God is love, and love is about forgiveness.”
If I learned one thing this past week in Guyana, it is that my connection to my faith is rooted in my connection to people—a commitment to a faith that is filled with trust, honesty, imperfection, forgiveness, and above all, love.
- How do you commit yourself to social justice?
- Can you remember a time where you have blamed someone else for your wrong-doings?
- What do you raise your voice for?
Samii Hartman is a frequent smiler, a wannabe world changer, and passport stamp collector. She’s awe struck of The Creator, solar powered, student of the ocean, and a trail blazer of the mountains. She is #jesuiteducated – Go Lions and Dons! And has been Ruined For Life through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. She is currently the Campus Minister for International Immersions in sunny California at Loyola Marymount University.