Summer Reflections: Merciful Justice

Rising junior Mariah Harrelson spent her summer on the most famous hill in America, Capitol Hill

By Mariah Harrelson

This summer, I was blessed by the amazing opportunity to intern in a North Carolina Senator’s district office and a congressional D.C. office. I’m beginning my junior year studying Political Science and Public Policy this fall, and not only have I learned so much this summer about my studies, but God has also been moving in incredible ways to reaffirm His calling for my life and gift me with opportunities to glorify Him with my passion for policy work.

The calling found in Micah 6:8 has motivated my desire to pursue a career in policy and the justice system:

“And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

More than ever this summer I have seen that – just as Christ advocates for us – we as Christians have the opportunity, both through our daily interactions and careers, to demonstrate the Gospel by being advocates for others.

Washington, D.C. is an intersection of ideologies, people from across the nation and those from around the world. Throughout my internship, I was able to have conversations about faith and politics with those I met. Absolute truth, the validity of the Bible, and religion versus relationship were among the topics of discussion as opportunities arose to share the reason behind my career goals.

I am so excited to return to Chapel Hill this fall with a renewed context and vision for the future through my involvement in Student Government, Cru, the Campus Y, and the Study Center’s Lydia Group, a mentorship community for undergraduate women. For me, the Study Center has been the intersection of academics, faith, and community at Carolina, and this group has continuously encouraged me to seek a career rooted in Christ, pursue my passion, and invest in those around me. God has already used the Study Center in incredible ways, and I cannot wait to see how God will use the Study Center this fall to continue the work He’s already started both in my life and in our Carolina community!