Earlier in June I received an email from Tawnee Hunter, a member of the New Wilmington Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania, inviting me to speak to 35 high school students from New Wilmington who were coming to Louisville on a mission trip. They would volunteer at Wayside Christian Mission, a local homeless shelter. After reading my reflections in These Days, a Presbyterian USA publication, she decided to invite me to speak, focusing on a call to justice. I said an enthusiastic yes.
Beginning with a quote often used by Catholic Charities: "We are called to walk on two feet--the foot of charity and the foot of justice," I encouraged them to ask hard questions that challenge systems. Reflect on the words of the late Bishop Helder Camara of Raciefe, Brazil: "When I asked where I could get food for hungry people they called me a saint; when I asked why there were so many hungry people they called me a communist."
Are we willing to challenge unjust laws that send people into poverty or keep them in poverty? That is the challenge for them and for each of us.