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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Saturday, August 29

Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of the destitute.
—Proverbs 31:8

There are those who are unable to speak on their own behalf.  They may have no platform or no power. They may be too weak or weary. They may not have enough status or clout to be heard by those who could help them. They may not speak the right language or know who needs to hear what they have to say.

Those who are unable to speak for their own rights are destitute.  Even if they are not materially poor, they suffer poverty because they are barred from the room where all the action is taking place.

Those of us who are welcomed into those rooms have been given the divine imperative of speaking for the ones who have no invitation. If we enter the rooms of conversation and power and speak only the words that guarantee our continued presence there, we will find, over time, that our heart has shriveled, our conscience has become contorted, and our soul has been depleted.

When we fail to use our words to ensure the equal access of all, we are failing to see and honor the image of God in every single human being. If we do not speak and stand for what is right, we become less than right ourselves. 

The path to straightening our distortion is not arduous. We need only acknowledge the mystery and miracle of heaven’s truth and compassion. When we walk on that truthful, compassionate path, our mouth will gladly speak the words that lift up the humanity of those who are systematically silenced. 

Surprisingly, when we overcome our own fear, our soul will gain strength and we will grow up and outward into God.

Gracious God, when my tongue is silent because I fear for my own status, make my heart so compassionate that my mouth will not be still.