Finding Our Voice in God
I followed an unconventional path to Harvard Law School and was thrilled upon receiving admission. While I felt that God wanted to use me to advocate for those who lack a voice, I didn’t know the extent to which my own voice would be challenged during my time at HLS. To elevate the voice of others, I first needed to fight for my own.
While Harvard has challenged me to develop my voice, it has also given me abundant resources to do so. Organizations like La Alianza, Harvard Latin American Law Review, Christian Fellowship, Christian Union, and the Program on Biblical Law and Christian Legal Studies have all equipped me to develop my voice while also providing me with a community. I have developed relationships with Christian professors, mentors, and students. Between small groups, office hours, weekly prayer, monthly worship, and much more, I have grown and thrived at Harvard.
Finding our voice is powerful. My voice in particular does not come from me, from the news I watch, from the people I follow, or even from my friends or family. I have given my life to Jesus Christ, and I choose to allow Him to speak through me. When Jesus walked the earth, many tried to silence Him and to stop Him from denouncing the corrupt religious leaders. They even killed Him, thinking that death would quench His voice. But when He was resurrected three days later, He proved that His voice would never die. Instead, His innocent blood was spilled in the place of our guilty blood. He paid the price for our sins so that we could be free—free from anxiety, depression, vices, anger, pain, trauma, pride, greed, and on and on. By asking Jesus to forgive us for all we’ve done wrong and by continually seeking Him, we are saved. We are set free from the pain of our past and the worries of our present and future. We live forever. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
When God gives us our voice, He tells us how to use it: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV)). We must use the voice God gives us to speak up for the destitute.
Jesus says in Luke 4:18-19: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (NIV). This good news is what my voice now proclaims, and it is what the Spirit wants to proclaim through all of us. Now, there is no way we should be silent.
Marianna Marques is a Brazilian American who graduated from Tufts University with a BA summa cum laude at age 20. At Tufts, she assembled and led a team to establish a tuition-free auxiliary nursing school in Honduras. She spent 2017-2018 as a Fulbright fellow at Universidad Camilo Jose Cela in Madrid, Spain. Currently, she is a JD Candidate at Harvard Law School, the editor in chief of the Harvard Latin American Law Review, and the chief operating officer of Action for Education. She can be reached at [email protected].