Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Justice isn't sexy.

Justice isn't sexy.
Justice is not a fad, a thing of the past or a thing of 2012.  It will never go out of style yet it probably won't make headline news, either.
Justice is long and boring, tedious and tiresome, and it requires countless hours.
Justice is not limited to left-wing, liberals, or politics.  Nor does it excuse any of them.
Justice is an equal-opportunity employer. (Bruggeman)

Righteousness is a right relationship with God and others.  (It is not just holy living.)  Sounds a lot like justice, doesn't it?

I distinctly remember walking out of that first brothel on a cold evening nearly 5 years ago.  Disgusted by the vile images I'd seen with my own eyes.  The night the stories, second-hand accounts and documentaries came to life in the form of a very real nightmare.  The night where prostitutes and pimps became real people in my neighborhood.  The night where oppressor met the oppressed.  The night where hopelessness collided with hope.  The night injustice wore skin.

It was also the night I began my gratitude for a God of justice.

Walter Bruggeman, an elderly, animated, white-haired, can't-talk-without-his-hands gentleman outlined 5 concepts of God's vow of fidelity to Israel in Hosea 2.

  1. Tenacious LOVE - a tougher, more committed, never-give-up kind of love that is more nitty gritty than "loving kindness"
  2. RIGHTEOUSNESS - commitment to the shalom, or peace, of a community
  3. JUSTICE - commitment to creating equality for the most vulnerable
  4. MERCY - giving of one's self
  5. COMPASSION - "womb-like mother love" - the kind of love God has for God's people.  Feeling in the deepest ways possible that something is not right and needs to be changed.

Several of the conference speakers challenged me to pay attention to what specific things make my blood boil.  The thing that stirs my guts and makes me sick to my stomach.  Because to be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be conscious of sin.

It's in that awareness that moves me.

"Great movements of the world come through pain of the people."

May we let those things, the injustices of our broken world, beckon us to embrace and claim a God of justice who can do more than we could ever ask for or imagine, who is calls me to take care of His sheep.

So many gut-moving facts about the world we live in.

  • 27 MILLION people are enslaved today.  They make your chocolate, bake your bricks, and are forced to star in porn videos.
  • Women and children are sold for commercial sex
  • 22 THOUSAND innocent people are imprisoned today due to being wrongly accused
  • Joseph Kony kidnaps and forces kids to become his soldiers
  • Racism, gender-based violence, homelessness, orphans, poverty, etc.
A world that is going down the tube, but a loving God who offers HOPE and LIGHT to even the bleakest situations.

Because the Lord is displeased that there is injustice. 
- Isaiah 59

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Justice Conference

My heart and soul are full.
My mind is spinning.
My daydreams are spiraling.
On the edge of my seat, ready to leap.
Yet carrying a backpack full of bricks, heavy laden for the broken, the oppressed, the voiceless.

I'm certain I just spent the best $135 dollars of my whole life. (But ohhhhhhh, the 'don't-even-have-words-for' tension I'm experiencing after spending even more than that just two days prior on my new iPhone.)

I just spent the last 2 days as a sponge.  Soaking up 28 hours in the presence of 8 friends, 4000 strangers from 40+ U.S. states and 20 countries, attending 13 sessions with as many of the 60 speakers as possible.  All under one roof at the The Justice Conference last weekend.

Here's hoping that my fingers will type what my heart is saying.