Sunday, May 24, 2009

But of Course Justice

But of course justice with a lower case j is what the Isaiah Agenda is all about. Isn’t it? Justice as love. Justice as forgiveness. Justice as kindness and generosity and intercession. Justice as intervention. As tenderness. As care-giving. As self-sacrifice. As charity. As doing unto others. As redemption. As salvation. As Kingdom presence.

Part and parcel. One of the many Kingdom strands woven together at the beginning of the world. By Jesus. Through whom all things were made.

Justice as what drives us to do impossible things for one another. Improbable things for one another. Ridiculous sappy outrageous things for one another.

So what can this mean? This sense. That yes, justice is worthy. Justice is Jesus. Justice is what we are about as followers. And this idea, embedded within the other. That for ourselves this is poison. Seeking this for ourselves is. Well. It’s outrageous. It’s greedy. There is evil everywhere in the room of this meaning.

How does this work, exactly? This idea that for me, justice is something I do not deserve. Something that if sought for oneself, there is. Oh. A feeling that. Well.

But that for others, it’s a requirement. It’s necessary. It’s required now. Immediately. If not sooner. It’s a noble cause.

Inwardness and outwardness. The idea that justice changes depending on which direction it’s pointed. Like love. Like forgiveness. Like. Well, you get the idea.

The one idea. But it’s multifarious. Multidirectional. Multilateral. Multilocular. Multiloquent.

But further, there is also the sense that justice insisted on strenuously for others may become revolution. May become hatred. May become untold evil committed out of outrage. Out of the sense of real damage and pain. Out of maybe a numbness created by months or years or decades or centuries of cruelty and torture and killing and exploitation and denigration and unspeakable acts repeated until.

Well, you get the idea. So even the idea of justice directed outward. Directed toward the protection and nurturance of others can carry in it also great evil if allowed to evolve. Allowed to mature into something monstrous. Something full of outrage calling for punishment and retribution. Eradication. A blotting out. An erasure.

I think of soldiers. Some of whom I took care of when I was in the Army. Psychiatric ward. Viet Nam veterans. Oh, 1972 or so. These men. Some of whom had gone berserk. Their friends killed. Their lives threatened. Everything around them that breathed or lived threatened them. Their friends killed in horrible fashion. Men who. Well. Wanted justice. Nothing more. Nothing less. And then of course. They went crazy because of what they did. Some of them, anyway.

Some thought they were Jesus. Some thought they were the devil. Some were catatonic. Some hallucinated terrible things. Some evolved fascinating theories that made no sense. Theories about DNA. About Japanese composers. About the meaning of everything.

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