Friday, July 8, 2016

Justice Devotional - Creative Justice

Devotion to Justice
A series of devotions from the Justice table on the topics of
  • Women and children
  • Hunger and poverty
  • Creation care
  • Immigration
Creative Justice
Proverbs 22:6

A young carabinero (Chilean policeman) showed up to a week-day worship service in full uniform creating quite a stir in the congregation as no one recognized him nor did they know his reason for coming to church. There are mixed feelings in Chile towards policemen. Some remember the human rights abuses of the dictatorship while others appreciate their national police force known to be one of the least corrupt in Latin America.

During the sharing of concerns, he politely asked permission to speak and walked to the front of the sanctuary. "You probably don't know who I am," he began.  "I grew up in one of the roughest areas of this town. I was often hungry and cold; my father beat me. I was surrounded by alcoholics and drug addicts. When I was a small child, my grandfather occasionally brought me to Sunday school at this church. Here, I was fed, and I learned that I was important to God. I was loved no matter where I came from or what happened to me at home. I have come back today, after all these years to say 'thank you' to the woman who was my Sunday School teacher. Sister Rebeca," and he turned to the woman who has been teaching Sunday school in that church for over 30 years, "Thank- you for the gifts of dignity, respect, and hope that you gave me. Even though you could not change my home life or the social conditions around me, I chose to become a policeman so that I could do my part to make this world a little more just for children who grow up in situations like mine. Thank you for believing in me. I have never forgotten you."

Creative justice can occur when a victim cannot meet his or her needs for justice through the legal or other systems of society. One of the forms of creative justice is when the victim works to make sure that the same damage or crime he or she has experienced does not happen to others. As we struggle to make society more just for all those who are victims of systemic injustice, may we also remember that as the church, we also have unique opportunities to open the doors through which those who seek justice can find creative ways to make wrong right.
Elena Huegel
Global Ministries Missionary
Pentecostal Church of Chile, Chile
Women and Children

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