22 Mar 2017

Let Justice Flow Like Waters

            This World Water Day, how much consideration have you given to where your water comes from? And where it goes? And how much you use? From toilet flushing to cooking, from the irrigation for our food to transportation and industrial cleaning: we use a disproportionate amount of water.
            Today I had the privilege to engage in many discussions on that topic. At a CSW session by UN Human Rights Network, Chief Caleen Sisk shared that we are *all* water people, yet have sadly lost our connection to the land and water systems which has made us consider water to be less than sacred. With women and minorities most impacted by environmental devastation, the panel articulated the interconnection between gender justice and water justice.
            In the opening homily for the Trinity Institute Water Justice conference, the Most Rev. Halapua (Archbishop of Polynesia), spoke of the spiritual significance of the gift of water, reminding us that even the clouds above us are water. Yet, we continue to abuse our water and therefore abuse God's creation. As speaker (former) Senator Barbara Boxer described, we are charged to take care of God's creation, because if we destroy it there will be no one after us who can fix it.
            Water is something that we in western dominant society tend to take for granted. We presume someone else will ensure that we have sufficient and clean water. We remain ignorant of how our waterways affect our very existence, and how they are impacted by us. They remain the circulation system, the bloodlines for the planet.
            Something else we take for granted, and presume to be under someone else's care, is the call for justice. But imagine if we did better; imagine if we recognised that justice needs to be as fluid as water, as prevalent in our ecosystem, as necessary for life. Imagine if we moved every desire of our hearts to align with the great gift of God, and used existing channels to flood the world with justice and righteousness?
            This is not a new concept; yet it remains an on-going challenge.  It is a message that we have had for centuries, the expectation to "let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." (Amos 5.24)

            And it is as timely now as it was then. I hope we take this world water day to enjoy the access we have to water, the opportunity to learn more about our own water usage, the privilege to appreciate our abundance of water as an invitation to share our access to justice and righteousness just as freely. May we flood the world with the presence of God, washing all we encounter with the greatness God has given us to sustain.

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