SJC Month 3: A Review Roundup

By March 31, 2010 culture, faith No Comments

I seem to have lost the month of March. It must have fallen out of my pocket or slipped out when I left the front door open too long. Maybe I’ll post some signs about town:

Third Month of the Year
31 days / 744 hours / 44,640 minutes
Can Be Lion-like or Lamb-like
No Collar or Tags
Responds to the Name March

What’s odd is that I actually saw more of the month than would be typical for me, as I had more work-inflicted all-nighters than usual. Several times I visited with March in her wee hours. You’d think that would make me feel closer to her. But no, she was elusive; likely because I was in a sleepless fog most of the time. I didn’t even get to the library—therefore, I had no book to read for the Social Justice Challenge (SJC). Over this past weekend, I decided to call March’s SJC a complete bust and put my sights on April and SJC4’s theme of Hunger.

Before I close the door on SJC3, I wanted to point you to a few great reviews by other SJC participants.

Helen, from Helen’s Book Blog, provided this encouraging summary even as we face evil dead-on:

There are glimmers of hope: women who leave abusive relationships and children who tell, and while it would be easy to be depressed by a book like this what I took away is the power of women to stand up for each other and themselves. This is such an important issue. And, it is important to realize that domestic violence reaches all races, religions, social classes, and ages.

A most informative post came from Caribousmom, who organized many stats and resources on our topic. From her, for example, I learned that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month sponsored by the Child Welfare Information Gateway—and it provides a month of daily action steps so we can each be part of the solution to this tragic problem.

Finally, a dear friend of mine steeled her heart and watched the multi-award–winning film Precious. I mentioned in my introductory SJC3 post that my weak stomach would never be able to handle the film, although I was curious about it. I asked her to send me her thoughts on it so I might include a few comments here. There was much in her review that was moving and insightful; here are just a few snippets:

Throughout the film we see the struggles Precious must confront. We see her emerge slowly to victory in many ways. We are proud of her. But we still hurt for her because she never truly gets what she deserves despite the victories. We see a mother driven by pain to cause pain, and in the end, her remorse brings her more pain. We feel for her too. We start to put skin on the monster, but sadly, it is too late.

Seeing this film left me with some hope but not much. It left me wondering, “What in the world can we do as a society to stop this cycle?” To which I answered with a dumbfounded, “I don’t know.” It made me grateful for who I have chosen to be. Although, it brought me pain and sorrow, I found value in this film. I am glad I saw it.

All of these reviews have a similar thread: brokenness abounds, and we are often at a loss for how to make a difference. The SJC has brought this painful truth back to me again and again.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, my hope is planted in the change that comes to human hearts that yield to His love and transformative power. In Him brokenness can be healed. It is with Him that I place my hope for people who endure domestic violence or child abuse.

Even so, evil will exist in this life. The wounds of Jesus heal our own, but that doesn’t downplay the trauma this life can serve up. I’m so grateful the wounded Savior knows this firsthand.

I cannot combat all the evils of this life, but I can confront what is before my very eyes. And I can purposefully turn my gaze to the plight of others with the intent of helping as much as I can.

That’s a wrap for SJC Month 3. And be sure to check out all the great reviews for SJC3.

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