Approach safety and justice at once.
Something to think about
Working with communities in the Amazon for Christian Aid, we have the privilege to experience the hospitality of being invited into people's houses. There is something that always calls my attention: most of them have an open bible showing the book of Psalm. I can't think on that as a coincidence.
In chapter 71, the psalmist describes a very challenging moment of being tired, but also trustful. He asks for rescue (verse 4) but also for justice (verse 13). He is aware of the risks (verses 10-11) but knows that in God he finds hope and safety (verses 12-14).
Working with local communities we know that many people are putting their lives at risk to stand for justice and protect the Amazon forest. Ana is one of the local leaders of the Jaci Paraná community, she is what I like to call a forest keeper. She is leading the collective claim for appropriate compensation for the families and the forest affected by the flood generated by the hydroelectric dam. Due to her leadership role, her life is at risk.
How can we respond to that? The Psalm affirms that righteousness will rescue him; it challenges us to approach safety and justice at once. There is a sense of urgency on developing appropriate protection measures but also to accompany those communities in their challenges as part of a movement for justice. We stand together sharing their fears and hopes but also raising our voices at once.
Something to do
Something to pray
God of Justice, we acknowledge the insufficiency of our work in the face of great challenges faced by the communities in the Amazon; but at the same time we pray that our presence there is prophetic and in your hands may bring the signs of justice and hope.
We pray with Ana and her community: 'Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel. For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust.'