This is a difficult time for many, but God calls us to love. Just as Naaman did, we must love ourselves and overcome our insecurities. 2 Kings 5:1-5 reminds us that you don’t have to be the strongest or the smartest to get involved and make the world safer. Simply existing in spaces that make you feel uncomfortable is action. It says, “Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram…but he had leprosy.” Traditionally, lepers would be excluded and pushed to the margins, but he defined himself. His ability to look beyond traditional expectations in his leadership is rooted in his experience of being excluded and not wanting to push that suffering onto others. Through this, he is able to build relationships with other people on the margins. The reading later goes on to say that he listens to a young slave girl’s request for him to go see Elisha, a prophet from Samaria. However, what’s most inspiring is how he goes in spite of his apprehension because he trusted this girl. Naaman was an outsider, but he was also a great leader; open-minded, open to healing from an outside prophet, not fenced in by traditional boundaries.
Like Naaman, I know what it’s like to be an outsider. A lot of times I’ve felt at a disadvantage whether it be because of my gender, race, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation. However, I believe that God calls me to utilize these aspects of my life, which society would try to invalidate or deem outside the norm, to elevate voices that are not represented. My faith demands that I use my gifts of patience and empathy to show God’s light through me. When I connect with people I come to know God more because we are all made in His image.
How can you better love yourself and overcome your insecurities to respond to God’s call to love?
Which voices in your life, your community, and in our world might be excluded or might you might not easily hear? How are you being called to hear these voices and respond?
How can you use your own experiences to elevate voices on the margins of society—both during this critical time for our world and every day?
Trinity Cooper is a passionate advocate for education and social justice. As an ambassador for sustainability for her school, her leadership role as an Eco Leader is just one of the ways that she spreads her message of environmental justice that culminates in both her beliefs. She strives to create lasting change that impacts future generations. She believes that small acts of kindness either through her volunteer work in her school gardening teaching kids how to make their own food or helping to teach children to read at her local after-school program are the first steps to a better world. Trinity spoke about her justice work at the 2019 Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice Public Witness.