Our response to injustice

I was sitting in my lounge room watching the cricket, contemplating what to write for a reflection this week when I was absolutely shocked to see Usman Khawaja given out when he obviously didn’t hit the ball. Even with the availability of technology to review the decision, they still did not overturn the original mistake… Oh the injustice!

And there is my topic to reflect on… we live in a world where injustice is all too evident. The type of injustice I’m talking about should cause us more shock than a dodgy decision in the cricket, but does it and how should we as Christians respond to injustice? 

We see injustice on a global scale where those with power and wealth oppress those without, we see injustice on a number of fronts in relation to the Asylum Seeker issue in Australia at the moment, we see injustice at the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Catholic Church which concluded yesterday. If we look hard enough we can find evidence of injustice in many parts of our local, national and global communities but do we look hard enough or have we become somewhat desensitised to injustice?

This week I’ve found it hard to avoid injustice as I’ve come across 4 separate situations with people who had experienced significant tragedy in their lives, all of whom could rightly claim they were victims of injustice. Perhaps the most difficult was a number of conversations in preparation for the funeral of a 3 month old baby who died of SIDS. It’s likely that as you’re being sent this reflection I’ll be in the middle of conducting the funeral service so please pray for this family!

How do we respond when such tragedy is so unjust? When a “trust in God and things will be OK” type comment only exacerbates the pain felt. What can we say to comfort when everything we think of, sounds like a trite platitude? The truth is I’m not sure there is anything we can say. I’m not sure I actually said anything that was of comfort to this family and they did ask me directly how could I explain why this happened. The best I could do was to be with them in their confusion, lament and pain; to affirm the God I believe in does not make these things happen but is with us in our suffering in words that tried not to sound pious and condescending; and to practically help them with the planning of the funeral service. 

While we may not have the words, some things we can do is not to turn away when we see injustice, not to change the subject when we haven’t got a good answer, to be a loving presence, to listen and be someone to share the pain with. Unless I’m interpreting scripture incorrectly, God’s priority is for those who’ve experienced injustice and if we are called to be children of God then we should expect that we will be called to encounter situations where injustice exists. 

We are not called to find the answers, we are called to love, to be a voice when none can be raised and to just be there. Can we? I believe, in the power of the Holy Spirt we not only can, but we must.

A lived out faith is not easy and rarely simple. Can I assure you of my prayers for you as I know God is working in and through you to meet injustice with love, in his name.

Have a great week!

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