Posted tagged ‘fairness’

Handling The Wounds of Injustice

January 21, 2019

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                      January 21, 2019

                            

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” – Dr. Martin Luther King

Perhaps it’s apropos to the emphasis of this weekend that the Saints are dealing with the pain of injustice!  A trip to the Super Bowl was almost assuredly thrown to the ground just as their receiver was. 

As we watched it- even those of us who aren’t Saints’ fans- we yelled at our televisions, “That’s a penalty!”

But it wasn’t! And we walked away muttering, “That’s just not right!” 

As I said, it’s appropriate for it to be a part of this weekend, a time when we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, who pointed his finger at systems, institutions, and discrepancies in the Land of the Free and said “This isn’t right!”

How we handle the wounds of injustice tells us who we are. It reveals our beliefs, or lack of, our callousness and caring, our self-centeredness and our concern for others. 

First of all, we must come to grips with the fact that injustice is a part of our lives. Rather it be a stolen football victory, the mistreating of a certain segment of our population, or even a student being falsely accused of cheating and suspended from school, injustice has a pocket somewhere in each of our backpacks. It happens on the avenue through town as Mr. Speed Demon races ahead going 65 in a 40 mile an hour speed zone. We cringe and grit our teeth at the gall that the guy has for so blatantly going outside of the accepted driving practices. 

It happens with the insurance companies that seem to rule the medical treatments of our lives. When a cancer patient is told that the treatment he needs will not be covered by insurance it makes us wonder what the purpose of insurance is? It strikes us as unjust to leave the decision of treating a potentially deadly disease to a for-profit company that has already been receiving our money.

So how do we handle the blows of injustice? Do we turn the other cheek? Do we strike back? Do we pout? Do we march? Do we strike? 

When teachers get taken advantage of, or taken for granted, do they just keep on keeping on? When the rent on an apartment escalates by a third while a teacher’s salary goes up 3% do they say “Oh, well!”?

Martin Luther King gave us an understanding for how to approach events and circumstances that aren’t right. He identified it, zeroed in on the roots of its existence, questioned its fairness, and promoted a new direction built on justice for all and hope for the future. Hate can pervert a system to grasp injustice, but hating injustice offers a path towards healing!

There are, however, injustices in our world which we can not quickly change! They become the fuse for our frustration that ignites our anger. Simply put, they become our prayer heart cries that we forget to pray about! 

Prayer becomes the invitation for the God of justice to counsel us about our grievances and take action in the struggle. It becomes “the talking it out” with the Lord. 

We tend to forget that in a world that seems out of control we worship the Lord who is always in control. Injustice will always seek to overwhelm us, but God will always walk with us!

Darla Time

March 7, 2017

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                     March 6, 2017

                                      

I got my hair cut on Saturday. Not an earth shattering event, I know, but one that I enjoy because of the person who cuts it for me.

Her name is Darla. I’ve known her for eighteen years and she always makes me laugh. I was her pastor for years and years, and there are just some people who you will always be close to even when your positional relationship with them changes.

Darla has a heart of gold. A couple of weeks ago a man that we both knew passed away. His daughter called Darla and asked if she could fix her mom’s hair. Darla, who works a ton of hours, made time to take that “worry” off of the grieving widow…hair that was showing the effects of sudden loss!

When I enter her shop, Locals Barbers, she greets me with a hug and asks me how I’m doing? Sometime in the first thirty seconds laughter erupts from each one of us! She plops me down in her chair and makes some comment about my hair or eye glasses, or the level of my tiredness. Her shop serves a free beer to its customers, but Darla knows that I hate beer so she offers to have one of her assistants go next door to Smashburger and get me a Coke.

Commence the chatter and conversation. With Darla there is no shortage of conversation. She flows one story into the next, always with a background of scissor snipping. She is my “Floyd!”, accomplishing her task while telling current day Mayberry stories.

I marvel at the importance that Darla places on fairness. She is the advocate for the mistreated, the balancer of the uneven. Her sense of fairness has cost her over the years. People who have looked to win or be right regardless of who gets hurt have turned their backs on her. They despise her emphasis on fairness. A previous employer was taking advantage of his employees so she stood in the gap for them. It cost her, but she can now look back at that situation knowing that she did the right thing.

So now I sit in her chair, laugh, listen, and talk as she sculptures my hair look. It is a time of pampering and levity that I am blessed to be the focus for.

We meet Jesus in different people. Darla has her limitations and challenges, but I see the reflection of Jesus coming through her. “Darla time” is always a time for being blessed.