{Repost} To Justus, on Justice

I personally revisited this post last week. It popped into my mind as I was sitting and talking with a Yezidi friend and co-worker. It made me sit back a little bit and see how this day over a year and a half ago impacted me, but impacted me about something I was then so entirely ignorant about.

I’m not sure that I had ever heard of a Yezidi before the day that I went to the protest at the White House, and now . . . I teach them English, drink tea with them, let them hold my baby and ride around in the car with them for hours. They are the people I spend the most time with these days.

And it’s still true that they face a flood of injustice. So, let’s revisit August 2014 . . .

to Justus (then four months old) on justice . . .

{and all those who love justice}

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I learned a lot today, little bud. My heart is full and thought-full. Thanks for being a part of it with me, and being this part of my life.

Today was hot, and you were pretty awesome as we walked several blocks to make it to the front lawn of the White House. When we got there, the ambulance and fire trucks were working on what I didn’t know, and the crowd was waving their neon painted posters and chanting various slogans in time with each other.

I looked around, and it got to me when I saw the sign “What if it were your child?” I leaned down to explain to you what was going on, but then I looked at your little face, and heard your name in my head. Justus. Zafer. Justice. Will be victorious. And suddenly my throat was tight and I couldn’t tell you what I wanted to.

I couldn’t tell you that these people had family and friends living in a place where they were threatened with the sword if they didn’t either change their religion or leave their homes. That these people were facing an ethnic genocide because they didn’t align with the ISIS values. That families were trapped on top of a mountain and dying from thirst and hunger. I couldn’t tell you that these people were being treated very, very unfairly. And how desperately they were looking for justice.

Justice is not victorious today. And it won’t be this year, or next, or ever in your lifetime. We know that.

But we do know that God’s desire is that justice prevail. We know that God’s character knows no injustice. And so, we as His image-bearers are meant to chase hard after justice and give this broken world a little glimpse of the completely just God we know and the perfect world that awaits those who hope in Him.

I hope, baby, that you’ll be a justice-chaser. 

I admit, I was tempted to roll my eyes at the group next to the Yezidis who were out chanting things like “Thanks Obama, I still live with Mama” and “Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work I want to go!” But then I thought, injustice is injustice, whether it’s being refused a fair wage, or refused basic human rights.

Justus, I hope you champion the little guy, no matter who the bully is. 

If it’s the Christian family who is being threatened by the Islamic State; if it’s the Muslim friend at elementary school who is mocked for his lunch; if it’s a little girl being teased by the high school guys; if it’s a man falsely accused of stealing money; if it’s a large corporation who is being slandered by competitors – show them what justice is, and why it matters.

I hope your tongue isn’t as timid as mine. 

I hope that for you, speaking up against injustice, and speaking hope and life into the oppressed is easy. I hope your stomach doesn’t tangle thinking of striking up a conversation with someone who is hurting. I hope your heart and your hands are open to love those around you and that you take every opportunity to demonstrate Christ to the least of these.

And, little one, I hope, in all your justice-chasing, you remember where real hope lies. 

It’s not those red and white stripes, or that gigantic white building that is going to provide a respite. It’s not a wad of dollars, or seeing someone end up in prison. Real hope, real justice comes from that gnarled, knotted, wooden cross that sat on a hill outside of Jerusalem all those years ago. The day that Jesus flipped justice on its head by taking our place, by enduring the greatest injustice so that hope could be ours. That’s where the real hope is, baby. Jesus owns true justice, because He bought it with His life.

Justus, thanks for being there with me today. Thanks for letting me use your stroller as a cart to hand out granola bars from, and to offer prayers to those who are confused at the injustice of this world. Thanks for being a constant reminder of our calling to chase justice here and now and also of the hope we have of a future perfect justice.

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