Sunday, September 12, 2010

Oceans of Justice

My last post was about our stories.  Today marks the one year anniversary of one of the most important stories I've ever had the opportunity to be a part of.  A year ago today I walked into Ngariam, Uganda and encountered God through the weak and feeble frame of an old woman named Mary who I found lying in the dirt. To read about her story go here.  You won't be sorry. 

Mary has never been far from my mind over the past year.  Who knows if she's still alive or not.  I just know that when I get to heaven I'm going to find her and we will talk and laugh together.  I will tell her how God used her to open my eyes not just to suffering in this world, but to the people behind the the faces, to the names, to their stories.  Mary may have just been one in a sea of suffering, beautiful faces I glimpsed that day, but God allowed me the privilege and opportunity to stop and truly SEE her, and in doing so, to SEE Him.  And to see him more clearly than I ever have in my life.  

That day in Uganda amidst the heat and the dirt and the suffering, God wasn't interested in my "spiritual credentials".  He didn't care about my involvement at church or how much scripture I knew.  He wanted justice for Mary.  He wanted for one second, for someone to bend down, look in her eyes and see what He saw...His little, tiny lump of a creation crying out for justice and help.  That day, He wanted her to experience the love and care that He had for her tangibly.  He wanted her to be treated fairly, like everyone else in the village...not written off and left for dead because she was old and useless in the eyes of the village.  He wanted her to be seen as precious. 
 Amos 5 says:

I can't stand your religious meetings.
   I'm fed up with your conferences and conventions.
I want nothing to do with your religion projects,
   your pretentious slogans and goals.
I'm sick of your fund-raising schemes,
   your public relations and image making.
I've had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.
   When was the last time you sang to me?
Do you know what I want?
   I want justice—oceans of it.
I want fairness—rivers of it.
   That's what I want. That's all I want.

Living a life that stands up for and embodies the justice that God desires is messy and hard. Not sometimes, but often.  That's the reality.  How many people do you know who want to hear about the injustices in the world?  Likely, not many.  How that must break God's heart.  I think He's pretty clear above that He has no interest in our lip service.  He wants us to allow Him to indwell us so completely that when we walk into a village or the grocery store, or the school that Justice walks in.  That we won't be able to see an unfair or unjust situation and just turn around and walk out.  Oh, that I would be compelled by God's fairness with me to live it out in an unjust and fallen world. 

What would it take for us to be moved the way God is moved by injustice? I think it takes a movement of God in our hearts and a willingness on our part to engage in the brokenness and suffering of others...even others we don't know or who we might not ever meet this side of heaven.  There are millions like Mary waiting to be SEEN.  

Oceans of Justice and Rivers of Fairness...that's what He wants. That's all He wants. 


  1. I. LOVE. YOU. FRIEND. Thank you for keeping it real.

  2. Beautifully written, I would love to chat over a cup of coffee some day!

  3. it has too much details in it and yet it is so simple to understand, Thanks for sharing the picture it has great detail in it and i really appreciate your true artistic work!RS 2007 Gold
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