(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos 5:24
Here’s what I have seen. Christians doing Christian things like going to church, praying, reading their Bibles, but not really heeding calls for justice, fairness, and equality. We are selective. We cozy up to people with power and wealth, not people who are poor, weak and disenfranchised. These latter are the real Jesus people. They are the ones He hung out with.
Justice means: the same for everyone. We should see to it that whenever possible, everyone gets the same treatment, and if not the same, then better. “The law will be the same for the foreigner as for those from your own country. I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 24:22). There are no double standards in the kingdom of God.
A while back, my wife, Marti formed an organization where women of wealth here in Orange County could touch poverty. And they did. They went to an African village and set the women up in their own businesses. They were amazed at how much like them they were. They pretty much adopted these women as their sisters. And locally, among other things, they took to bringing monthly dinner to a shelter for women without homes. But not just dinner — like spaghetti and pizza — Marti had them prepare dinner, like four course, 4 star dinners — what they would serve themselves if they were having guests over. And each night had a theme. One was an “unbirthday party,” where they celebrated everyone’s birthday, because Marti knew they hadn’t celebrated their birthday since becoming homeless. They had a “Puttin’ On the Ritz” night with music and entertainment. Christmas was huge with Santa (yours truly) and gifts for everyone — nice gifts. One night they had a full blown Academy Awards banquet where everyone got an Oscar for best something-or-other that suited their character. I remember the woman who couldn’t stop crying because she’d never heard her name mentioned in public before.
Marti treated them as if they were royalty, because they were. And she wasn’t faking anything. They got the same — well maybe a little better, because they needed something better for a change.
That was justice — just-as-if they were you.
Postscript: We still have a relationship with one of the women from that shelter. We helped set her and her husband up in one of those motel-turned-apartments. It’s small, but after 19 years of sleeping on the street, it’s a roof over their heads. We continue to send them funds when it gets tight. Recently, when our town was threatened by a wildfire in the hills around us, Jeff called and offered their place if we needed to evacuate. And He meant that.