In his memoir Just Mercy, lawyer and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson writes about women, men, and children wrongfully sentenced to death, abused in prison, or exploited by a criminal justice system set up against them. Their circumstances vary, but what they all share is the one thing they all need from him as their lawyer: hope.
Stevenson describes this hope using Václev Havel’s words of “‘an orientation of the spirit.’ The kind of hope that creates a willingness to position oneself in a hopeless place and be a witness, that allows one to believe in a better future, even in the face of abusive power” (p. 219). To those abandoned, an advocate (parakletos in Greek) is often the only bearer of this kind of hope.he Spirit orients our spirits to God’s hope that we might bear witness in the hopeless places of the world and testify to the Father’s love for all in Christ. Click To Tweet
Jesus comforts his disciples with the promise of an “Advocate,” and we imagine the Spirit testifying our case before the Father that we might receive mercy. However, in Christ, we have already received mercy.
What if, then, the Spirit is actually the one who testifies to us of the Father’s love, advocating for God that we might believe there is hope and life even when death is certain? The Spirit orients our spirits to God’s hope that we might bear witness in the hopeless places of the world and testify to the Father’s love for all in Christ.