* * * * *
Just is a 4-letter word, one that I often find offensive.
"What does Mary do?"
"Oh, she doesn't do anything. She's just a mom."
Just a mom? Birthing and nursing and raising a new generation of humans, nurturing immortal Image bearers during their brief sojourn between eternity past and eternity yet to come...how on earth, tell me, is the word just (as in only, merely, simply) ever aptly used in conjunction with the word mother?
Just a mom? Is this not a subtle way of downplaying, if not an attempt to dismiss altogether, the tremendous significance of motherhood?
Cooking dinner, resolving relationship issues, dealing with health problems or demands at work, diagnosing a vehicle malfunction...whatever the context, when the word just is used, it nearly always implies: "Your problem/concern/struggle/difficulty is really no big deal. The situation/solution is actually quite simple."
Just is often used as a tool for explaining away a reality that is bigger than a person wants to acknowledge.
Just, only, merely, simply...these words should not be used as a smoke screen to obscure our vision of reality, nor should they be used as an opiate to numb us to the very real concerns of others.
Just, only merely, simply...such small words, but deceptively dangerous. Handle them with care.