Wednesday, March 12, 2008

sweet justice

In response to a suggestion of our definition of "Justice" I would like to add that the Justice we seek is about more than equitable distribution of resources and fair trade practices. While those are HUGELY important and integral to the work of justice, there is nevertheless a deeper reality behind justice. We ask ourselves the question: "Why is there injustice in the first place?" "How did we get here?" The question becomes personal - What is wrong with me that there is such injustice in the world? A compelling response to these questions resides in our relationships. If I love you, honor you, am aware of you, how could I stand idly by while you suffer? And if you do suffer unjustly and I am in a position of power to do anything then our relationship suffers. You might fail to trust me. I might lose trust in myself. We might lose our trust in God. But, God is faithful to us. God is just. God honors our relationships. So as we work for justice we work for "Right relationships with God, with each other, and with creation." (quote from George Johnson.)

I am also drawn to consider that if God is just and faithful to us and all of creation, then there already is more than enough justice intrinsically in the universe. We don't have to go creating justice - we need only use the abundant justice that surrounds us! God's justice permeates us. Let us use it extravagantly!

Another benefit of thinking of justice in this way - right relationships is that it is much easier to put your head around than say fair trade practices and the effects of globalization. Any child knows when there is a good healthy relationship and a bad one. If we are to engage young people in the pursuit of justice - right relationships is a good place to start. It also helps keep us in check from beginning to feel like high and mighty purveyors of justice throughout the land. It cannot be unilateral. It must be multi lateral. That is what relationship is.

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