My desire to advocate has led me to intern with the Christian Life Commission this summer, broadening my compassion in areas such as payday lending, gambling, and human trafficking.
Throughout the Bible, God prescribes advocacy for social injustice, instructing His followers to defend the needy and oppressed. Growing up in a loving and supportive church, I have become well versed in the importance of advocating on behalf of those in need of God's love. As I have grown into my own thoughts, however, I have learned advocacy extends far beyond decorating cards for kids in Peru and packing shoes for orphans, for, while these actions constitute honorable, loving deeds, advocacy is different.
The term "advocate" was derived from the Latin verb "to call," and was used in Roman law to describe a lawyer. 1 The definition later evolved in Middle English to describe a protector or patron and, through the years, has continued to maneuver through varying context to illustrate one who gives a voice to others.2
I came to understand advocating for others by understanding those for whom God called me to advocate. I have listened to the tale of a child stolen from her home and sold into slavery and winced at the image of a helpless mother losing her baby to a curable disease. Through personal research and eager mentors, I have developed a passion for calling out to those who live without, from slaves in India, who live without freedom, to those in my own circles, who live without love or care.
While I will likely never understand the fear of a traumatized refugee or the pain of a shoeless orphan, I am beginning to understand what it is to be a child of God and what it is to love all children of God.
1 "advocate - Online Etymology Dictionary." 2005. 1 Jul. 2015