Walking Upstream


“Pulling drowning people out of a river is compassion. Justice is walking upstream to solve the reasons they are falling in.” Dave Batstone

My trip to Uganda is a mission in justice.  So much of what I do is compassion based.  And while that’s been satisfying and has taught me a lot about loving and serving others, I’ve longed for more.   Short term mission trips frequently educate and expose people to some sort of injustice, but rarely does the trip change the life of the people who are experiencing the injustice.   I think that compassion is “easier” because we usually get to pat ourselves on the back for “saving” someone.   We like to feel good about ourselves and the ability to help someone. The work of justice is frequently quiet work.  Work where the “saving” is without a someone.   It’s changing the future so that you no longer have to respond to the current crisis…because it ceases to exist.  

This trip to Uganda is about justice.  We won’t be hanging out with little children, falling in love with their smiles and their joy with the simplest of life’s pleasures. And our hearts won’t be breaking while hearing their stories of life and what we take for granted.  And while I long to be a part of their stories and love them something fierce, I’m choosing to do it differently.   I’m going to file paperwork.  Dusty, dirty, dank, and unorganized paperwork for 10 hour days.   And while my heart will be broken for the widows who went before and weren’t able to get their property rights restored, my heart will leap for joy for those who come after and are able to keep their property….I’ll be upstream, celebrating that the work downstream will have less people to pull from the river.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s