I Cannot Do This Alone

O God, early in the morning I cry to you,
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you:
I cannot do this alone.
In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the way for me …
Restore me to liberty,
And enable me to live now
That I may answer before you and before me.
Lord,whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.

—Dietrich Bonhoeffer, (1906-1945)

Bonhoeffer was a crucial leader in the German underground movement and a determined and courageous opponent of the Nazi regime from its first days in 1933—a commitment of conscience before God which ultimately cost his life. “He raised the first and virtually lone voice for church resistance to Hitler’s persecution of Jews when he declared that the church must not simply ‘bandage the victims under the wheel, but jam the spoke in the wheel itself.’

I am reading Gary Haugen’s book, Good News About Injustice: A Witness of Courage in a Hurting World. Haugen is President and CEO of International Justice Mission, “a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local governments to ensure victim rescue, to prosecute perpetrators and to strengthen the community and civic factors that promote functioning public justice systems.”

His book is a well-written, honest look at the horrors of injustice in our world. Readers will want to buckle up. But Haugen is not merely exposing evil. He is also asserting an unbending hope in the God of justice who intends for his image bearers to “jam the spokes in the wheels” of evil. Haugen issues a necessary call to action aimed at all believers both individually and corporately.

As Christians, we need to educate ourselves about what’s happening today and then we need to act. Haugen’s book is a good place to start. He leaves me (and I suspect you too) asking what I can do to be part of a global effort to both “bandage and recover the victims under the wheel” and “jam the spokes in the wheel itself.”

I’d love to hear the thoughts of others who have read his book. What other books would you recommend and why?

About carolyncustisjames

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3 Responses to I Cannot Do This Alone

  1. Judy D says:

    Need to read it, Carolyn. Keep preaching! We can make a difference!


  2. Nicole Unice says:

    Carolyn, your passionate review makes me want to read it. I'll put it on my list and hopefully have my own comments soon.


  3. Carolyn says:

    Thanks Judy & Nicole! Unless I'm missing something, God means for us to make a difference. It's all part of ruling and subduing and pushing back the darkness. I look forward to your comments, Nicole.


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