Faith Today: It seems to us The Salvation Army
does a great job at serving the downtrodden. It
does mercy so well. You speak out strongly for
advocacy. How do the two work together?
Danielle Strickland: The Salvation Army has
a natural bent to respond to human needs,
and how that manifests itself for the most
part is social service. We are fantastic at
mercy. We do mercy very well.
Justice has a little bit more of a strategic
emphasis on advocacy, and maybe digging
a little deeper to the causes of poverty
People say social justice is a new thing.
Actually, I think it’s our oldest thing. But
it’s like we’re rediscovering it afresh for
today’s context. Issues like human traf-
ficking, for example, have pushed us to
this place. We understand it’s not enough
to care about the trafficking issue, we have
to do advocacy.
FT: The Church seems better at offering mercy
than doing advocacy.
DS: I think justice is a deeper journey, and
to go deeper requires more effort.
I remember reading a conversation
Bono [lead singer of the band U2] had on
a plane after he had witnessed a kid dying
of malnutrition in Africa. He said some-
thing like, “Mercy made me cry and justice
made me angry.”
The question then became – not so
much Should children die? – he knows the
answer is no. But the other question is,
Why is this kid dying of hunger and my kid
is throwing food out? That’s a harder ques-
DANIELLE STRICKLAND ( www.daniellestrickland.com) is a
Canadian Salvation Army officer launching a social justice
strategy for The Salvation Army in the U.S. She is based
in Los Angeles, but has served in projects fighting poverty
in Edmonton, Vancouver and Australia. She is an author,
advocate and speaker. In fact, she will be a keynote speaker
at Missions Fest Vancouver in January.
Her most recent book, A Beautiful Mess: How God
Re-Creates Our Lives (Kregel, 2014), calls readers to live by
God’s expectations, and not their own. Strickland spoke
to Faith Today about how we fight poverty (not always in
the best way), how we might be an oppressor without even
knowing it, and the great, amazing hope the Church can
bring to a broken world.