We hear the term all the time as a sort of political trope, but can we recover something else, something more substantive from it?
For me, the political/social stance starts with practice: the public is built on the acts and practices in our own life. We can’t stand on the side of the marginalized and oppressed if we don’t also understand that wrt God we are most certainly marginalized, oppressed, rebels with no hope until God acted in our lives; we who were strangers have become friends of God. Pietist that I sometimes can be, becoming a friend of God is not forensic, or the broccoli before we get to the good stuff, rather it is the start.
But I have also been thinking about the different ways that standing on the side of the marginalized and oppressed actually looks like:
• Giving the job to the ex-con for the third time
• Standing there in court, alongside, knowing that without your help they are in deep trouble…
• Guiding your construction company to create job training programs for kids in the city
• Visiting the irascible widow, the one whose son did not tell her that she had cancer….
Standing alongside is an act of solidarity and mercy.