A disabled fellow timidly enters a colossal arena to attend a word-of-faith charismatic event. His heart pounds as he prays for a healing. The evening wearies on. The hands of those around him wave through the air as if they are prophets of Baal. Pleas and praises ascend, at least as high as the ceiling. They all believe they are having a profound, life-changing experience.
Realistically, it is no more than a quasi-religious sensation. Some depart believing they have been changed. But all too soon, the positive feelings dissipate. Most say, “Next time, maybe.” The lame continue to stumble.
The blind still navigate with their canes, a little more resentfully. Temporarily remitted symptoms begin to reappear. The doctors smirk behind their knowing smiles. The frauds that ran the show fly off in their Gulfstream jets. Another notch. Lies empower no one but the liars.
This scenario reminds me of the opportunist mask called “Social Justice.” Whatever that is, it does nothing but empower big mouths with big file drawers and even bigger control issues.
When a culture descends to the point where it has in America, the fallback to litigation is nothing more than the craving for revenge and a windfall. It’s not even a legitimate desire for vindication or righteous judgment; it’s just getting even and making a buck in the process. The battlefield isn’t leveled. The world isn’t improved.
In most lawsuits, the only winners are the lawyers. Settlements settle little or nothing. Posturing, strutting, and one-upping serves nothing and no one. It’s just another racket that undermines everyone’s already self-limiting trust in anyone or anything.
Is there a better alternative? Yes. Social mercy. At best, justice evens the score. But mercy cancels the debt. No doubt about it; we sorely need justice.
Criminals need to be caught, prosecuted and punished. Bad deeds should not go unchecked. A civil society is contingent upon civic authorities doing their jobs with integrity. Well, it would be nice if on occasion, they did. But they rarely do. Then what? (All of that has little to do with the heartfelt struggles and needs, or the routine pedestrian injustices folks suffer.)
So how does mercy surpass the arrogant efforts of legal-minded prattlers? Mercy marches forth with the Golden Rule. Accordingly, you put the edification and welfare of others before your own. It stems from the tree of life whose fruit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
Mercy cannot be constrained. It flows from the good heart of a person of character. The quality of mercy cannot be bought, sold, hired or held hostage.
Justice shmustice. Regardless, we can show mercy. Our disabled and elderly friends need a friend. But sometimes friendship costs time and money which we would rather not dispense. Still, the choice is ours.
You can shake your fist in the air (the one the lawyers promised to fill) or you can reach out your arms and hold out your hands.
Jesus’ admonition not to judge is understood by what He said, “The amount you measure out is the amount that will be measured out to you.” Are you comfortable with that arrangement? We make judgments all the time; we have to. You can’t discern a sheep from a wolf otherwise.
A criminal code, tautologically, demands judgment. But apply your standards of behavior to yourself. Then be gracious to others. The Prince of Peace did not stand on His rights. And, by the way, He will return. And He will dispense justice. And then we will have world peace.
Meantime, His grace is sufficient in our weakness amidst our insecurities, afflictions and vulnerabilities. Not when we stick our impudent noses in the air, claim our rights and content ourselves with all we’ve gained at another’s expense.
You want to fight for someone else? You will only be spinning your wheels…While you’re waving your banner, pointing your fingers and threatening to bring down the house, though, take your needy friend out for a meal he could never have had otherwise and LISTEN TO HIM!
Go without your must-have lattes and put aside your high and mighty plans for an upgrade and pay for a necessary medical procedure, visit to a far-away family member, a quality item of clothing, a bus fare, or raise in rent your friend just got from his slum lord… Help with anything he or she so desperately needs and has gone too long without (while you joined some club or wrote out a check for “those people.”)
Agencies, organizations, and low-level government bureaucracies accomplish little. They vie with one another to uphold their petty ideologies; the ones that foster the programs and agendas that guarantee a continuation of their own livelihood. They are adept at retaining their jobs and budgets. And the drones under their command sacrifice what few brain cells and shallow souls they have on their betters’ altar of pragmatism.
This is how civilizations die. I’d say America is beyond life support.