I became a lawyer to pursue social justice—or at least that was the original bright-eyed intention. Many years later, I find myself litigating not for a charitable NGO but private corporations, specifically, defending professionals, trade contractors, municipalities, strata, as well as ‘ordinary’ mom-and-pop folk. There has been a widening disconnect between my seemingly strict secular work and my impatient heart for the kind of justice not necessarily confined to our human-made courthouses on earth but the kind of justice that is boundless—the kind of justice God envisioned before the fall, what He has in store for us above, His Justice.
In that frustrated disconnection, I have admittedly taken for granted basic inalienable rights and liberties afforded in certain fortunate parts of our world but which are tragically denied in many places. In countries including Cambodia, Afghanistan, Sudan, and India, human trafficking, slavery, forced labour, and exploitation are horrendously rampant. The oppressed cannot access let alone afford lawyers, so who will stand up for their freedoms? Is relief available without the requisite infrastructure, without judges for instance? Tough questions that not one of us alone singularly can answer. This is precisely why conferences like Tenth’s Just 1 Day and teams participating in the annual Ride for Refuge are instrumental. They prompt productive dialogue and inspire ideas on complex matters like the fight against human trafficking. These forums have helped me bridge the disconnect between my nine-to-five work and that impatient heart for God’s Justice. Indeed, grounded in the collective strength and conviction of His network, enough momentum can and will be gained, however ‘small’ each step may appear to be.
Despite the enormity of the task, we care deeply about these supposedly ‘antiquated’ tragedies in faraway ‘other’ places, because (amongst many additional reasons) the urgency of the same heartbreaking issue is also evident at ‘home,’ for example, in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Importantly, each of our liberations is intricately intertwined with the liberation of all of God’s children.
The fact that I can counsel clients, to vigorously represent them in accordance with the law is, in-and-of-itself, a true blessing. The fact that we have a set of laws and a supporting court system in B.C. is similarly a true blessing. These realizations recently bubbled up through one-on-one discussions with fellow Just 1 Day attendees and my Ride for Refuge teammates. I must share these blessings by working in a Christ-centered manner alongside everyone else. There are in plain sight good Godly gifts with all the potential I no longer wish to take for granted but am aiming to have shine through in my daily practice. I have faith you too possess spiritual gifts that are ready to take up the cause. Let’s work together: to do justice, to love kindness, to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).
Participant: Lori Leung
Association(s): Tenth Evening, Global Mentors, Civil Litigator
Spiritual Gifts & Passions: communication, faith, wisdom, empathy, helps, anti-trafficking, inequality,