Heading into Justice Week 2 seemed like that extra stack of paper work one receives in the office right before closing after a long day. Just when the worker thought he was ready to pack his things and move on, more comes in. He obligingly stays to continue the work.
During this justice week we explored different issues such as the broken education system and human trafficking, which contain heavy cycles of conflict, helplessness, and grief. Tensions between the fear of becoming desensitized to the suffering of others and yet the call to love as Christ does led me to question the proper response we are to have to these overwhelming injustices. I was close to ‘resigning’ from all of these lessons, but instead, part of my honest response was a complaint in the midst of searching for more understanding. Like Habakkuk the prophet, I asked God, “Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?” (Hab. 1:3)
Before pointing me upward again to the hope of Christ, He made me first look down at reality. As our co-director Christina mentioned in her discussion, the root of injustice is sin. This sin perpetrates personal, relational, and systemic circles all around us- in our own lives, even. Our hope against these social and personal evils is in the Gospel. God has committed to us the beautiful ministry of reconciliation through the Good News (2 Cor. 5:18-19). With it we can bring healing and true justice. This matters because our God is just. He created mankind to be conformed to His image, and all things to be rightfully reconciled to Him. Carrying this message, however, involves embracing suffering like Christ did.
After complaining, Habakkuk did not initially like God’s answer; that injustice would be fought with more injustice before God’s ultimate judgement. Suffering would prevail in the meantime. As John Ortberg stated in a sermon we watched, there is a response in all of us in the day between trouble and deliverance: denial, despair, or waiting on the Lord. In suffering, God calls us to wait on the Lord. Unlike passivity, waiting on the Lord will renew our strength. Then we will be able to rejoice all the more in Christ’s salvation. As we walk through injustices and intercede for the voiceless, we remember our source of healing and promises is Christ.