Finding Momentum

Justice and me

I’m wrestling a lot these days with the idea of Justice and what it looks like to be a Christian–and a human–in the midst of it.

This week, the interns and I have been at the Not for Sale Academy receiving training on human trafficking before we head out to the Philippines in April. I’m feeling a lot of heaviness, hearing stories about people held captive under another’s power.

A few things I’ve been chewing on:

  • The perversion of masculinity, a fascination (and insecurity) with power, control & ego versus the created Ideal: protective, disciplined, self-sacrificing, Christlike.

  • I’m nervous about entering darkness; the thought of walking a red-light district scares me. Can I handle it? Also: thoughts on continual prayer as we walk through the shadows. We need to pray to survive.

  • I’m glad I’m going with this group of guys.

  • It’s okay to feel pain. I’m wondering if I even want to be identified with this movement because of the heaviness surrounding it. I’m realizing that maybe the pain of the world is what God wants us to feel–to grieve alongside the broken and the powerless and to be saddened by the injustice in the world.

  • On the other side, I’m thankful that our God is a God of vengeance and justice. He promises to repay for evil. That is very. comforting. Honestly, I’m not sure how I would deal with the brokenness without an Absolute, a Good framework.

  • But honestly, I mostly want to turn and go back to life as usual and pretend like I haven’t looked into the void.

  • “Don’t you see?” (I’m imagining the voice of Tim Keller here). “Jesus Christ suffered the ultimate injustice so that we can be justified–and so that the world can know Justice.” The Gospel is that the justice that was to be exacted on the murderer, the pimp, the politician, the single mother, the CEO, the checkout clerk and me… was placed on Jesus. Augh. Grace. Bitterness-melting, soul-lifting, hope-restoring Grace.

  • This is a sexy movement. Call+Response was about rock stars. The t-shirts are fashionable. We talk about entrepreneurial ventures and new business paradigms. People I meet are well-put together. But would I still be out here if this were a movement to end homelessness? How about adoption?  I wrestle with the question about whether it’s about me wanting to be identified as a hip, socially-aware Christian, or if I’m actually loving people and moving out from there.

Tonight my small group simply picked up trash around our Lake Merritt neighborhood. But I was talking with Tammie and Justin about how it should be the case that a neighborhood should be better off because Christians live there.

It is uncomfortable and we are getting nervous with the onset of darkness. We say hello to a woman at a street corner who merely mumbles back. Lazily, a police helicopter hovers in the skies.