Thank you to Rainbow Youth Program Director Renee Reimer for this Micah 6:8 reflection. Renee submitted this right before leaving on a two-week immersion course in the culture, faith and sites of Egypt.
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Immediately, the sounds of Patty Shelly’s voice runs across my mind as she sings, “God has shown you, oh people, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you. But to do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.”(Micah Song by Patricia Shelly)
I first heard this song sitting in chapel my freshman year at Bethel College and was amazed at how being able to sing this text brought a whole new meaning behind Micah 6:8.
If you know me well, you know that my passion for the love of the world is great, almost too great in some cases. My mind often lives in this utopia world where all races, religions, and cultures live together in peace and harmony. A world where there is a roof for every human being and everyone has enough food on their table. I was once told that this “utopia world” dream I have was unrealistic. In my head I was thinking, “well I will show you!” On the outside, I smiled and tried to show a little love. But folks, there is a fire in my belly that will not rest until this corrupt world walks together. One day I will figure out how to support myself by traveling the world singing songs of love and peace and the world will see that this life is possible.
I felt this fire for the first time 5 years ago on my trip to Israel/Palestine. Amidst the conflict, I heard stories of people saying they do not have the privilege of losing hope. “Our blood is the same color. Our pain is the same pain.” How can I then, someone so sheltered and privilege, lose hope? Following this life changing journey to the Holy Land I came across the script, My Name is Rachel Corrie, which consists of writings by Rachel Corrie, a peace activist who worked in Gaza. Rachel Corrie’s words gave a voice to the feelings I had no idea of how to express.
“For a long time I’ve been operating from a certain core assumption that we are all essentially the same inside, and that our differences are by and large situational. I know there is a good chance that this assumption is actually false. But it’s convenient, because it always leads to questions about the way privilege shelters people from consequences of their actions. It’s also convenient because it leads to some level of forgiveness, whether justified or not.”
– Rachel Corrie
I had the honor of sharing the collection of Rachel Corrie’s words with others in January of 2013, two years following my return from the Holy Land, and the following summer on a special tour to various churches and the MCUSA convention. I tell you all this because this was my journey to permanently having this text engraved on my foot, my broken foot for that matter.
This tattoo is my constant reminder to not loose hope despite school, work, life, and the everyday struggles I may face in life. This is a reminder that with every step I take, to do so with love. To step humbly on this journey. To constantly seek the justice of the world, beyond the daily tasks I have laid out in front of me.
At the end of a long day, I take off my socks and see this text and think, tomorrow is another day to practice spreading hope, love, and peace. The word practice implies with intention, not perfect, so that I may continue to strive to spread that love.
As I embark on my next journey overseas I not only carry these words in my heart, but also on my walking foot.
Our first task in approaching
Is to take off our shoes,
For the place we are approaching is Holy.
Else we may find ourselves treading on people’s dreams.
More seriously still, we may forget that God was there before our arrival.
Take Off Our Shoes by John Taylor, 1992
Forever practice doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God.
Now I must find a way to talk about this tattoo with 3 year olds who have asked why I have those black lines on my foot…