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  • Katie Smith

Label Makers

The Pain of Injustice


How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?

Or cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not save?

Why do you make me look at injustice?

Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?

Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.

Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails.

The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted. (Habakkuk 1:2-4)


I've never been fond of labels. As organized as I like life, labels feel too constrictive. What if the items in the box change? What if they don't all fit under one particular category? What if the label defines the items incorrectly in the minds of another organizer?

It's the same with human beings. We too often place people under a single label, stereotyping an entire human population when so many do not adhere to their designated labels. Thus, bigotry, bias, and base sins emerge.

We are all subject to labels based on entering society, but we don’t have to succumb to falsehood, nor do we have to follow the" stereo-typed." We don’t have to endorse the typecast given others with our labels. We don’t have to enhance the image by merely falling in line. Some still live indoors for fear of the virus.

Others live in fear of going for a run because of the labels placed on their ancestors backs.


The Label of Christian provides many unfavorable connotations because some wear the label incorrectly . Yet I am still a Christ follower.

The Label of homemaker has many negative connotations because we all live with our families differently, Yet I am still a stay-at-home mother without other vocation.

The Label of woman still has negative connotations,

Yet I am a confident and gentle female.

The Label of southerner has lasting negative connotations, which I have strived to separate from entirely. Yet I have lived in the south almost all of my life.

The Label of person of color has its own bag of connotations,

Yet none should have ever been negative. Color always denotes beauty.


As one who is prone to speak too loudly, I want to let my brothers and sisters who have been mistreated for their labels speak at the podium and peacefully, yet persistently pursue justice. Any way that I can empathize or aid in justice gives me a greater commonality with my God who created all human beings to bear His beautiful image.


God responded to Habakkuk's complaint for justice as He still promises today...


Look at the nations and watch--and be utterly amazed.

For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe even if you were told.

The revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.

Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. (Habakkuk 1:5, 2:2-3)


I look forward to that "end" when sin is eradicated...right now, I can pray and teach my children the truth found in another prophet's words...


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.

And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy

and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)


Humbly walking requires a listening ear, and a respect for other shoes you've never worn. I will keep living truth in love and trust that my identity does not come from a sticky label placed on my back. But I can wear any given label in such a way that changes minds, hearts, and perspectives about passing out labels from the start. Your identity is not in any label, but it comes from your Creator. No one can change that.


Babies give joy when the heart is heavy...







~CC






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