It’s been an interesting week in the realm of pop court cases. By which I mean, two completely separate trials – one of an ex-Governor of the State of Illinois, and one of a mother in Florida. In this past week, there has been arm-pumping by Illinois residents, even by many who admit the punishment for Rod Blagojevich will probably not be adequate. There has more recently been an outpouring of complaints over the “not guilty” verdict of Casey Anthony, a Florida mother accused of murdering her daughter. I didn’t follow either case closely, with the pop-court-media-circus extending the entertainment value far beyond what was necessary. But it seems both were guilty, even though the prosecutors for Ms. Anthony could not provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
It seems much of the work in these cases, and many more like them, is focusing the attention and desire for “Justice” onto a single person/act/verdict/punishment. There is very little desire/pleading/mourning for the fact that things like this happen. Crimes like these are committed. We live in a broken world, one where we very much need for God to move, and move completely/fully/wholly.
So what of our response as citizens of the Kingdom of God? There are plenty of verses that admonish us to “seek Justice”. We are created by a Just God, and in His image. Even though that image needs repairing, His fingerprint of what is “just” is among us. Even as young children, fighting over a toy, there is a desire for someone to come and make things “just” once again. Of course, we may respond differently if we’re the ones acting in an unjust manner. Not quite as exciting.
I believe we are called to remind the world around us that it’s not as much about these individual cases as the media sometimes wants us to believe. Of course these individual instances matter. It’s horrible that Caylee Anthony was killed, and our prayer is that whoever was involved will experience the “setting things right” and justice that God offers. But to limit our weeping to the Anthony family, or our own when we experience such horrors, is to miss out on connecting with the heart of God.
A heart that weeps just as much that someone would commit such an act, as for the victim of it. A desire for a world to be set right. To be made whole. To experience restoration and renewal in a way that we can experience in small ways here and now, but look forward to being flooded by, someday.
There are many looking at each other this week, asking the question “Where is Justice?” May we, as followers of God – the author of what is “Just”, and who has promised to set all things right once again – speak as believers of that promise. Justice is coming. Not simply as punishment for those who murder and walk away. Not simply as a supernatural “nod” to the “justice” we’ve administered ourselves. But as a complete and cosmic renewal/restoration toward the Lord we’ve already begun to serve/declare to a universe in need of healing.