By Jeana Medlin, Fellows Class 2014
We have been the official, Inaugural Nashville Fellows for almost three months now, and I can say on behalf of all of my fellow Fellows that we have a new appreciation for the phrase “TGIF”. Weekends are precious, and they are hard to give up, but this weekend we were whisked away in a 12-passenger van to Podunk, Virginia to learn about justice and to engage in small talk with other fellows from other programs from around the region. Needless to say, there were some of us who weren’t quite ecstatic to head out on a road trip.
Transitions typically come with the hard smack in the face that reality does not actually meet the expectations that we have, not typically. We have seen this over and over again these past few months as we have transitioned into the Fellows Program. This weekend was no different. Reality was much better than what we were expecting and, apart from the boys having to sleep in tents, it was a really great weekend. It was a weekend full of worship, ultimate Frisbee, waiting in ridiculously long lines for bathrooms, being impressed by retreat center food and bedding, friends and fun, and it was full of hearing the Lord’s heart for justice and mercy.
Appropriately named the Micah 6:8 conference, we spoke a lot about doing justice, loving mercy and kindness, and walking humbly with God. Micah 6:8 says, ”He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” This was the scripture we invested in this weekend, and we marinated in it long and hard. This piece of scripture doesn’t say, “He has told you, O liberal man, to do justice,” or, “And what does the Lord want from you but to do justice.” No- we are ALL REQUIRED by the Lord as his people to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with him. So much for those excuses.
I can’t speak for every single one of my friends and say what each one of us got out of the conference, but I can tell you what the Lord spoke to me. It’s easy for me to have the big ideas of how I want to change things, how I want to make wrong things right, but the actually following through and seeing those plans play out is where I struggle most. I’ve got to just do it. James 1:27 says this: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit widows and orphans in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from this world.” It doesn’t say to come up with this great idea about visiting the widows and the orphans, but to DO IT. I don’t know that every idea that I have is going to work out, but I can do them and try them. In walking humbly with the Lord, sharing in his passion and heart to bring restoration to broken things but always remembering that in my human frailty I can’t fix everything and that this is not about me, it’s time to do something, anything, to show people Jesus, to bring God glory, and to make wrong things right.