Dearest Hope Family,
Our world, especially, it seems, our neck of the woods, groans daily with the weight of “not-the-way-it’s supposed-to-be”. Injustices and hurts, fears and fear-mongering, fight and flight are customary and decidedly not “unprecedented” – whether it is the general tenor of the election season, the conjecture about the peaceful transfer of power come November 3rd, or the verdict from the grand jury in the Breonna Taylor case and its aftermath for Louisville and beyond.
What do this time and this season need? What kind of Christians can be a blessing here and now? What manner of Christians can relieve not extend or deepen the curse?
David Taylor, in his wonderful book, Open and Unafraid: The Psalms as a Guide to Life, reflects: “The fact that injustices occur every day is obvious to anyone who reads the daily news. Injustices happen to individuals, people groups, and entire countries; they mar systems and institutions. Injustices take place in our own homes and in nature as a whole. The book of Psalms understands this . . . The psalmists pray repeatedly for justice because they understand that a world full of broken people, dark forces, and harsh conditions generates injustice everywhere and always. Where there is enemy talk in the psalms, there is also justice talk. Where there is injustice talk, there is also a plea for a Just Judge to make things right or, as philosophers might put it, to give people what they are due.”
As those entrusting ourselves and this unjust world to the Just Judge (1 Peter 2:21-25), even if we do not know all of the details and nuances of the Breonna Taylor case, we are at liberty to “weep with those who weep” because an innocent woman, an image-bearer, has died, and that is always tragic. We are at liberty to acknowledge and even mourn with countless brothers and sisters in Christ who hurt from yet another perceived injustice. We are at liberty to pray, like the psalmists, that the Just Judge will make things right.
I commend the prayer for justice from Taylor’s book as an accessible way forward in an unclear time:
“Be with us, O God, as we struggle for a more just world, yet remind us that our actions so often tighten the nesh that binds the oppressed. Keep us from pride in our own strength, and keep us from despair when evil seems entrenched. Renew our trust in your good purposes for us all. Give us the gift of discernment that we may know when to strive in the power of the Spirit, and when to be still and wait for your deliverance. Come in your good time, but come soon! Amen.”
Peace of Christ,