Saturday, February 26, 2011

His Name is Justice
posted February 26, 2011

I walk in the door and we make eye contact. He stares hard and I can tell the synapses are trying to connect; he takes his time. His expression communicates the difficulty required to use even the simplest brain functions.

Then in a flash the neurons connect and recognition dawns. A wide smile breaks on his face and a penetrating, ear-piercing shriek follows. Justice is saying, “Hi Gram!”

Almost 17 now, Justice has no expressive language. He once had a thirty word vocabulary but it receded as the years passed. No one really knows why. It’s not something that can be fixed.

He’s agile on his feet. More than once Bob and I have taken him to the Golden Arches, holding tightly to his hand, only to lose focus as we look at the menu and in a split second Justice has snagged French fries from the plate of a bewildered senior citizen. That was true until three months ago when he had a seizure in the night, fell out of bed, and broke his hip.

Some of my favorite Scriptures have the word justice in them. I can still hear that old master of black preaching, E.V. Hill thundering out in his rich, baritone voice: "But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” ( Amos 5:24)

Both Abraham and David are described as men of justice. One is called “the friend of God” and the other “a man after God’s own heart.” This is because “God loves justice” (Ps.99:4).
“To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice” (Prov. 21:3 NKJV).
But the question that has gnawed at me all these years – I’ve tried to deny it, stuff it, rationalize it away – is this one: Does God love Justice? It’s that age-old question of trying to balance a loving God with the injustices that surround our daily lives. So many things – like injustice and suffering – are a mystery.

Many are the times I’ve spoken to him about Jesus and he always gets very still. I think they know each other well and have a two-way communication that will someday stagger me. Even though Justice can’t tell me if he wants a sandwich, or his shoes hurt, I believe he has the knowledge that God is present with him. He always has a smile and I’ve seldom ever seen him show sadness or anger. He lives in peace and watching him has taught me much about how to let go of what is unimportant in the big scheme of things.

My heart is confident that God loves Justice and is fully aware of everything pertaining to his life. He is learning to walk again and pretty soon he’ll be up to his old tricks – snatching French fries off the plate of some unsuspecting diner.