This year World Social Justice Day, National Love Your Pet Day and the Lenten tradition of Clean Monday all happen on the same day. So you can scrub your house clean in preparation for Lent, like spring cleaning but being able to give it a spiritual twist and not feel so fed up about doing it, as you love your pet and ponder social justice. Interesting too that World Social Justice day comes in Black History month. Is it possible to look at Black history without thinking about social justice? Interesting too that Christine suggested “Breaking Down Walls” as the theme for Lent. Perhaps it needs to start beforehand? In fact that isn’t a real question. Of course it should start beforehand. We shouldn’t wait until there is a designated day or month to think about social justice, Black history or even loving our pets.
With Love Your Pet and World Social Justice on the same day I wondered which one more people would focus on. I am suspecting it would be to love your pet. Why? Because that is easy. Our pets give us something back. They love on us too. But social justice? Well that’s a hard one. For a start, what does it mean? And will it give us anything in return? I think too often as human beings in our modern world we expect something in return. I remember when people would come round with a bucket collecting for some charity, but now when you do something for charity – whether a marathon at home, some many push ups, going up in a hot air balloon, walking the Great Wall of China, or whatever – you will get a reward for your efforts to raise that money. You will get something back.
I think of Tyre Nichols and other deaths that happen in the so-called civilized world. I wonder if those policemen love their pets. A bit of me thinks they probably do. Are they bad men? Well they did a bad thing, but if we are going to think about World Social Justice should we be looking at people like them too? Or is it easier to say they are evil and don’t deserve any justice? What would Jesus do?
I’m sure on this day if Jesus was walking in our world he would not have trouble choosing. But then I don’t think Jesus would need a specific day to think about Social Justice, loving a pet or even having stuff in his house that needed cleaning out.
Is the “Clean house” at the start of Lent more of a metaphor for something spiritual as well being a physical thing? I wonder if it is about cleaning out ourselves so that during the season of Lent we aren’t just going through the motions of reading devotions dedicated to the season, going to services, and fasting, but our “houses/hearts” are already cleaned so we can understand what Lent is all about and get close to God, and so when the Crucifixion and Resurrection come our hearts are in a place to fully receive all that is offered in both those amazing events.
If we took seriously the “clean house/heart” and stepped into this Lent season and the fullness of what Jesus has done for us then we would not need a specific day to think about World Social Justice because it would be at the forefront of not just our minds but our actions every single day.
And I do think maybe having a National Love Your Pet day is really unnecessary because most of us with pets love them each and every single day much more than we care about many other things.
Perhaps someone should do a “Love people not of your social group more than you love your pets” day?
So today as we have all these things to think about, where will your focus be? Social Justice and how you can be more involved with that? Spring cleaning your house? Spring cleaning your heart? Or loving on your dog, cat, bird, rabbit, etc? Will you pick the easy one or the hard one? Or is it possible to do them all?