Bread for the Resistance
- Donna Barber
Donna Barber is cofounder of The Voices Project, an organization that influences culture through training and promoting leaders of color. Her work is dedicated to training up leader of color to step into key roles in the church and culture.
This little devotional is meant to reflect on powerful passages regarding justice and prayers that are cries from the heart. It is also meant to be worship.
A great tool in this devotional is that a QR code is available at intervals throughout the book that will take the reader to a worship song by Urban Doxology. It is a great gift to be able to go directly to a worship song that allows the reader to sit back and reflect in praise.
Why a devotional on justice for those in justice work?
“Sometimes you get tired. In the midst of the marching and the posting and the blogging and the meetings – yes, the many, many meetings – you get tired. Tired of having to explain it again to people who don’t get it. Tired of figuring out the wording and the right tone of voice. Tired of swallowing the frustration and the lies like bile in the back of your throat and tired of pushing don the anger or the sorrow or the fear.”
I write this review on the heels of the verdict in the murder of Botham Jean by police office Amanda Guyger. Guyger, if you will remember, was getting off duty as a Dallas police officer and walked into Botham’s apartment late one night, somehow thinking it was her own. Botham was completely surprised (of course) and Guyger, somehow thinking an intruder had broken into her apartment, shot and killed Botham in his own apartment. This week Guyger was found guilty of murder, yet only sentenced to 10 years (when up to 99 was possible).
There was a scene in the sentencing phase that gripped the nation. Botham’s brother was giving a victim impact statement and then expressed his forgiveness to Guyger. He then asked if he could give her a hug. They embraced in a long hug that was incredibly moving.
That act of forgiveness shines, but it cannot diminish the incredibly light sentence Guyger (a white police officer) received in the shooting of an unarmed black man in his own apartment. THIS is the weariness that is felt in the work of justice. THIS is something we, as white people, don’t always “get”. THIS is what people of color find frustrating.
“Sometimes you get tired.”
So, this devotional is a work of respite. It is to reflect on passages of justice while realizing this work truly belongs to Christ. It is a necessary work that takes the strength of the Spirit to accomplish.
This book is a call to come aside. Don’t get so beat down you don’t stop and rest by quiet streams.
“When the salty waves of disappointment and disillusionment are crashing over us, we realize our dehydration and call out, though perhaps with reluctance or fear, to the only one who can save us.” (p. 132)
Come aside. Find the river of the Word of God. Drink from the fountain of the Spirit. This is a powerful invitation to those who work so hard.
IVP Books sent me a copy of this book for review. I am under no obligation to give a positive review.