Highlight : Battling fear in the fight for justice

“God isn’t about us making sure we’re comfortable. He calls us to step into the brokenness of this world and when you do things change, but things change for the better. Things change in the will of the Almighty rather than our own desire for comfort.”

Jesus didn’t die for us to stay comfortable. He freed us so we can free others.

Jim Gash knows that well. As a lawyer, he felt called to travel to Uganda in 2010 to help those in need of legal care. Once he arrived and saw the gross injustices of the judicial system, he knew something had to be done. Jim was in a position to act – and he did. He met a young man named Henry, sitting in prison for two murders he did not commit. Henry’s story was just one example of what can happen when the wicked overpower the weak. The exploitation of the vulnerable is happening in many forms, including this one, in countries around the world.

“The poor in the developing world have no ability to protect themselves against physical violence. And if you don’t have a functioning rule of law in the country – where the police are not corrupt, where the judicial system is working in a timely manner – then the poor are at the mercy of the strong.”

Jim worked tirelessly to free Henry, even bringing his family overseas to live in Uganda for six months while he worked for Henry’s release. He tells the amazing story in the book, Divine Collision: An African Boy, an American Lawyer, and Their Remarkable Battle for Freedom, co-written with Henry himself.

God may be calling you to take a step of faith on behalf of others but you’re wrestling with fear. How can you respond? Jim is transparent about his own struggle before traveling overseas.

“The biggest barrier to me surrendering the pen, to taking a step of faith and going somewhere in person, was fear. And like many of us I fear failure, I fear embarrassment, I fear not being able to do what I think I was supposed to do. But I’ve realized that more than fear of failure, I was fearing success.”

“Because if I take a step of faith and God has nothing there for me, I go to Uganda and nothing happens. And I get to go home to my own life and have the same comfortable life. But if I take a step of faith and God is there, then everything changes.”

Jim would never have imagined that one step of faith would result in long-term involvement with Uganda, working with them to fix their judicial system. But one step of faith resulted in thousands being affected, two young men – Henry and his brother Joseph – being freed, and one small family being uncomfortably changed for the better.


 

James Allan Gash, J.D. is a Professor of Law and Director of Global Justice Program at Pepperdine School of Law.

Key Scriptures: Matthew 6:34; Matthew 28:19-20

Featured Songs: Hand That is Holding Me by Meredith Andrews; Strength of My Heart by Rend Collective; Sinking Ships by Lincoln Brewster

A divine collision

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