Minding Micah

Micah 6:8 says, “What does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” I love that verse. It’s underlined in my Bible. I have it memorized. There’s a cross-stitch sampler of it hanging on my wall. 

Now if I can only live it. I say I want to, but then my own selfishness intervenes. Last week I signed a petition (which I then posted on Facebook) asking big chocolate to stop using child labor, to become fair trade. It appalls me that so much chocolate is produced under conditions that amount to slavery. And yet on Sunday I was offering my friend Cyndi some chocolate-covered pretzel clusters (made with Lancaster County Hammond pretzels and Wilbur dark chocolate—a potent combination). Her reply: “No thank you. I try to eat only fair trade chocolate.” 

Ouch! Why don’t I? It’s not that I don’t believe in it, but Wilbur doesn’t produce fair trade chocolate (it’s part of Cargill now), and I love Wilbur chocolate. And that’s the only way my pretzel clusters are produced. So it comes down to my convenience, my wants, my (let’s be frank) selfishness.

If I am going to “act justly,” I need reminders from friends like Cyndi. I need the reminder of my values.

That’s why I am so excited about the new Faith and Justice Coalition of Lancaster County. The group “exists to serve as a site of encouragement to all . . . to live out the daily call to be the hands and feet of Christ to everyone we encounter through issues of justice, fair trade, alternative gift giving, and the like . . .” (Feel free to join the coalition.) I need friends like these who will encourage me, remind me, spur me on and help me not feel like a freak if I actually pursue living justly. It’s so much easier to walk with others, especially on the narrow road.

Who are your friends like Cyndi or the Faith and Justice Coalition who help you make the hard—but joyous—choices required in Micah 6:8?


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