The other day, before work, I was reading through the book of Lamentations and praying for those who might feel as Jeremiah described in the book. I was asking the Lord to comfort those who have lost loved ones, those who are sick, and those currently experiencing immense lack. I imagined the desolate city described in the first chapter and was struck by the fact that major cities in this country have been lying empty. There is mourning and grieving and weeping all around. People around this country and the world are currently crying out to God.
And then I remembered something important: God is just.
The words from the Bible and the images from the news swirled together in my mind and poured out into my prayers. I prayed against food disparity, limited access to healthcare, and unjust incarceration. I interceded for those who are currently being most hard-hit by coronavirus and thanked God that he is with those people. I prayed for our criminal justice system and that all those involved would seek God over vengeance or retribution. I asked that God would comfort and bless those who are currently experiencing injustices on any level—and that his will would be done in those situations. I prayed that he would continue to expose injustices so that his restorative and healing power can be clearly seen in the world.
Then I started my day, assuming it would follow the normal pattern. To my immense surprise, just a few hours later, I was made aware of an instance of injustice within my realm, though I didn’t immediately recognize it as such. I saw it as frustrating and outrageous, but a friend who also learned about this labeled it correctly: injustice. And this thing that we unearthed hurt God’s heart.
I realized that injustice is both macro and micro: it’s not just limited to our criminal justice system or global humanitarian issues, but can be seen in our daily lives.
We encounter little and big injustices daily and we get to choose how we respond. Sometimes, it’s really tempting to just turn a blind eye. Right now, with so much anxiety, turmoil, and uncertainty going around, burying your head in the sand sometimes seems like the best option. If I just sweep a thing under the rug or look the other way, maybe someone else will deal with it. Thankfully, that’s not what God does.
Other times, it’s tempting to stir the pot or be an instigator, causing more division. Or to respond to the injustice with the aim of vengeance instead of reconciliation. What I’ve been learning over the past few months is that God reveals to restore and that restoration is part of justice. He’s not a punitive God, but he seeks a relationship with us.
I’m so grateful that God is just and that we don’t have to manufacture or conjure up justice on our own. I believe that the more we seek him, the more we become like him which changes how we live. We don’t have to all become lawyers or activists, but we can represent our just God to the world around us with how we spend our time and money. We can model justice on an individual level by how we speak and interact with others, fueled by the Holy Spirit every step of the way.
Let’s do justice today!
How do you think you can do justice in your daily life?
Have you ever had an opportunity to walk out your prayers?