A little over three years ago we woke to news of the Boston Marathon bombing. The shooter in this weekend’s attack in Orlando made reference to that event. The following is taken from what I wrote that morning and revisited again today. In seeking the Lord for what His word to us now would be, I find this continually relevant.
We all woke up this morning feeling violated. Senseless, incomprehensible, bloody images greeted us in our newspapers and on our smart phones and computers. To some it felt very close. To others, it may have seemed far away only because we didn’t want to let it in. It seemed far away to me until my wife reminded me that if we still lived in the Boston area, our daughter could very well have been running in that marathon. And though it was far away on the other side of the country, just this last weekend, our son participated in a benefit relay race across Nevada and California. Suddenly it wasn’t so far away.
Running races are always championing the human spirit, often raising funds for worthy causes and just generally spreading good will and encouragement to all who participate from the first to the last. To besmirch an event of such neighborliness and collaboration is an evil of exceptional depth. It violates any sense of justice we might have.
I was also greeted this morning with a story Jesus told his disciples “to illustrate their need for constant prayer and to show them that they must never give up.” In the story, a widow kept after a judge “who was a godless man with great contempt for everyone” to appeal for justice against someone who had harmed her. The woman kept after this judge so much so that she wore him out until he granted her justice just to get rid of her. Then Jesus said, “Learn a lesson from this evil judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end, so don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who plead with him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, He will grant justice to them quickly! But when I, the son of Man, return, how many will I find who have faith” (Luke 18:1-8 NLT)?
Cry out to the Lord for justice to be done in Boston, Massachusetts (and Orlando, Florida). Cry out to the Lord for justice to be done in your life, and know that a compassionate, understanding God will hear you and do something about it.
God is a God of love; He is also a God of justice, and we can call upon Him for justice and know we will be heard, because He will grant justice “and quickly” — maybe not as quickly as we would like, but quickly, according to His timetable which is quite different from ours. It’s a test of our faith to keep believing in times like this when believing seems almost naive.
And yet, in Jesus, justice and mercy meet. Indeed, He has already done something about it in that He endured another senseless, incomprehensible, bloody day when His only son suffered and died on a cross, so that evil like what happened in Boston (and Orlando) might never have the last word.