When I was done speaking, I walked back to my seat in one of the front pews. The conference broke for lunch a few minutes later and as I stuffed my spiral notebook into my backpack, the morning session’s first speaker came over and shook my hand. It was an honor to meet the director of a religiously-based international relief organization; it was even more an honor, to speak right after he had that morning.
As I shook his hand, I thanked him for his work and was about to say more when he posed a gentle challenge. “I listened with interest to your presentation,” he said, “especially the part about charity and justice. And I wondered: isn’t the work that we’re doing also justice work, even though it’s not legislative advocacy?”
Gulp. Had I just unintentionally diminished the good work of an international relief organization? Continue reading