Living more with Less–Do Justice

(Mrs. Pivec inspired me to find a photograph for my post too!)

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good;
and what doth the Lord require of thee,
but to do justly,
and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God?
Micah 6.8

Longacre uses this verse as a guidepost in thinking about the principle of doing justice. and don’t you just love verses like this? so simple and straight forward. God has shown us what is good. it is written on our hearts. and what is required? justice, mercy, humility. oh, is that all? these great big sweeping verses call out to me in a way that correct theology or a year’s worth of sermons just can’t. they call me to action, to step into their possibility, to find my footing in the vast current. and maybe that breathless feeling is a sign. a way forward. a way to act with courage in the face of the staggering injustice of our economic system.

i must admit that this was a hard chapter for me. i can get behind the idea that our foods and folkways matter in this world, that all our small choices do count. but influencing trade policy through voting or letter writing makes me sceptical. i am much more comfortable opting out of the system (in admittedly small ways) than trying to fix it. AP and i were talking this morning about using our woodstove for heat. Thoreau said that he liked wood heat because it warmed you twice–once when you were cutting it and once when you burned it! and the ways that it has forged bonds with our neighbors…John and Elizabeth and Rita and Curt and Dave and Marla and Kevin and the Open Meadow folks and Jessica (i keep thinking of more names to add to the list!). each of these people has helped keep our little house warm. even though i’m happy not to be using our oil heat, those connections are so much more real and important to me than any more abstract ideal about not using oil.

i’ll be curious to see what ideas are offered throughout the book for ways of doing justice. stay tuned.


  1. I agree that the letter-writing feels challenging to believe in. I feel like you need to be a pretty dedicated letter writer or lobbyist to affect any larger changes. That’s not to say that I don’t think there can’t EVER be changes; I would swiftly be proven wrong. But I think the effort would be one that I would feel so overwhelmed by. Of course, it also might depend on the issue. If it regarded someone I loved and his/her life were at stake, I have a feeling the effort would not seem as insurmountable.

    Thankfully, I think for the most part, we are able to pick our battles and do what we can in our own little sphere and hopefully, by our persistence and example, produce a larger change in that way.

    BTW, your daughter is absolutely charming! 🙂 She is so cute! Oh, how I remember those days. 🙂

  2. i do my share of letter writing…i think i was just feeling like it doesn’t quite solve the problem for me. it doesn’t do away with the guilt that Longacre describes. and that is as it should be.

    thank you for the kind words about our girl. it does my heart good to see older girls like yours whose lives are full of homeschooling and gardens and tea and mamas who are creative. that’s our future!

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