Abuse and Injustice. What are the options?

Published 05 September 2013  |  
Recently, I viewed footage of little children in a Vietnamese orphanage being treated quite severely. One scene showed a small baby, not more than a few months old being pushed to the side and rolled away in annoyance by the 'carer'. It gave my heart a very heavy feeling. A feeling I have felt before when realising that I've just seen something that I would rather have not witnessed.

I glanced over at my own three month old baby boy laying asleep beside me. How innocent and trusting babies are; for their basic needs to be met, for their very existence to continue, and their beautiful, natural expectation to be loved and cared for.

Tears were welling in my eyes, I could feel my throat tightening; my heart was breaking. In this video clip I see an adult's frustration overflow into actions that need not happen, I see a child making a judgement on their world; that they can't trust easily anymore and that they aren't worthy of being cared for.

Being in an orphanage, I can only assume that these children have already experienced some kind of rejection, or heartache. Being abandoned and unwanted, unable to be cared for by their own families.

A God of justice

In these times where I see injustice, I begin to search Gods' heart. What are you feeling God? Can you see this? I sense Gods' heart for people. He loves justice and stirs it in the heart of man to become world changers, peace makers, love bearers and justice fighters.

I've stumbled across much injustice throughout my life and it causes me sorrow and distress. From abuse and neglect, to poverty, oppression and suffering. The internet has made it so much more 'in your face' with social media, links and comments highlighting worldwide injustices.

The internet and news has perhaps also numbed us to these images as well as highlighting them. We can watch, be moved for a moment and continue on with our day. Are we really moved towards the sufferings of our fellow man? Or do we pretend to be? Do we care?

A quote: "Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring those ripples - build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance." (Robert F Kennedy in his 1966 speech to the young people of South Africa on their Day of Affirmation).

In Psalm chapter 73 verses 3-16, Asaph wrestles with God's justice. It shows his frustration and confusion. How can a just God allow the wicked to get everything they wish for and crush others in their pride?

What are the options?

Justice is a term used for what is right or how things should be. It is one of God's attributes. Micah chapter 6 verse 8 says "He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the LORD really wants from you: He wants you to promote justice, to be faithful, and to live obediently before your God."

Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly.

It is a very simple command, without much grey area. However, it was given to the Israelites by the Prophet Micah, because at that time they were so far from God. There was much 'grey area'. They were unfaithful and unable to live out those words.

God desires our hearts and our lives. Totally. These verses should have a much bigger impact on us. Israel chose to ignore them, and things did not go well for them.

Our society is reliant upon comfort and the avoidance of suffering. In my view, we must find or be individuals who will choose discomfort and suffering for the sake of God's kingdom over worldly gratification.

Micah was pleading to the Israelites to understand that believers have to be willing to live lives that are revolutionary from the rest of the world.

Exposure of injustice can be the most loving thing a person can do. The motives should be honourable of course. Most injustice is due to pride or self-centredness and therefore light shined on the darkness of injustice is a good way to stir up compassion. Responding in mercy and acting where possible is imperative.

There are many injustices in the world that we see every day. And even though I may watch things and feel that I should not have, I become moved to shine light into the darkness. The only thing that is not an option is giving up with silence and apathy.

Belinda Croft lives in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne with husband Russell and sons Brandon and Ardon. She has a passion for God, writing, creativity, missions and social justice.

Belinda Croft's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/belinda-croft.html

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