Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Injustice of Injustice

Photo credit: Daily Mail
The face on this man is exactly how I envisioned my face the other day when suddenly, while stopped at a stop sign, the very large SUV in front of me started backing up.

My hands probably went up just like his as I shouted "Stop! Stop!"

Only, he didn't stop... 

...he just kept coming. 

The next thing I know I'm calling my husband, 911 , and a friend I was meeting for dinner that night.

You know the routine. If you've been in an accident before, its a lot of hurry up and wait when there are no injuries and little damage.



Conflicting Accounts
The police officer finally arrived. He spoke to the other person first. Several minutes later the officer walked over and said "So, what's going on here?" (I cannot properly convey to you in writing the amount of disdain he spoke with. I'm sure he was just having a bad day.)

I began to tell him what happened, but when I got out the words "He backed into me",

the officer interrupted and said "That's not what he said."

I was so incredulous that I actually laughed (note to self: not a good idea to laugh at an officer - especially when he is having a bad day). The short story is that the man flat out lied and told Mr. Policeman that I was on my phone and ran into him.

umph! 

the nerve! 

Liar liar pants on fire! 

OK, that sounds all cute and not so bothered. The truth is, I was furious.

The Bigger Issue
Justice
Where was the justice? It was all so unfair! Even though there was little damage to my car, I could not get past the bigger issue. This man blatantly lied! Self-preservation in all it's glory.

Why did it bother me so much? Was it just about my puny desire to vindicate myself?

What is the real "bigger issue?" Maybe it's the same one we all have.

A longing for Justice. Our hearts long for it.

We long for a world where wrong is made right. A place where fairness and wholeness thrive. When I look around, I don't see that place.

But it doesn't change what my heart desires. I suppose I could have an "I don't care attitude." An attitude that says, "It's just the way it is and it stinks." But somehow, my heart hopes. Somehow there is a whisper in my heart that reassures me, "This is not all there is."

Justice Is A Person
The longing in my heart is not my self-generated desire for good. The longing in all of our hearts for goodness and flourishing could never come from ourselves. If I had had my way with goodness I would have demanded fairness which put me in the right - what a small-minded selfish view of justice. It is good news then, that Justice does not come from within us but from outside of us. God created our longing for Justice and graciously provided it in the person of Jesus.

Justice has come.

And one fine day, Justice will restore all things.

Justice will turn the tables on unfairness and inequity. 

Justice will make whole, make right and make new.

The Only Just One
God alone is Just. We often look to the ways of this world for pictures of justice.

Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life. Proverbs 22:22-23

We read the scriptures and set out to follow the instructions believing that the world will play by the rules and that we will actually play by the rules too. We forget that there is only One who is Just. God alone holds that job. But here's where it gets a little crazy. God considered the poor and needy. He took up our case.

Jesus' ministry is not the incidental patching up of injustices. Rather it is the bearing of the final injustice - death ~ Robert F Capon, The Parables of Grace

God exacted life for life. Jesus died for you. Jesus died for me. God exacted his life for our lives. Life for life. That should turn every table upside down on the whole justice issue.

Fair? No.

And thankfully so.




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