Inevitable questions that come up in the midst of injustice are about where God is and what He is doing to end it. In exploitation and in the pains of violence, as victims of evil and in the midst of our current personal struggles, even those with strong faith are bound to wonder whether God cares.
Many times, I have held a silent thought (silent because I often fear that God might discover it), wondering where God is in the middle of the injustice of abortion. After almost forty years of legalized abortion, after seeing the videos where little arms and legs are yanked out of innocent babies who feel pain, with often an expression on their wrinkled foreheads, trying to move away from the abortionists’ tools, I cannot help but ask God, “Where are you in the middle of this injustice? How long will you allow it to go on?”
I have never said this out loud in my prayers because I have been too scared to admit my doubts, but because God knows the contents of my heart, He gave me a response to my unuttered question:
In Psalm 82, God asks His people, “How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?” We ask God where He is in the midst of oppression, and He responds by asking us the same thing. God expects us, His people, to be moved by injustice and suffering because He is moved. The psalm continues with a command: “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked (v. 2-4).” If the Church really is the body of Christ – if we are His arms and legs, then it is through us that He shows up against injustice. If we have the Holy Spirit in us, it is through our flesh and bones that He acts in the world. When we ask Him to fight against evil, we are asking only to be part of something He is already doing. This Psalm reveals that God expects us to fight injustice if we are to see His power.
I cannot think of even one example where injustice ended by an abrupt, miraculous act from an invisible God. From as far back as the Israelite emancipation from Egypt to the establishment of the early church or from the fight against Nazi Germany and in the battle for Civil Rights, God has raised up leaders: famous and unknown women and men with imperfect lives and inconceivable flaws who said, “Lord, use me” and obeyed.
This is the way in which God ends injustice. It is through women and men who are scared of what people think of them but say and vote and do what is right anyway. It is through women and men who love their families and life and do not want to die, but who are still willing to lay down their lives if that is what it will take for them to continue fighting. It is through women and men who battle with fear at night, who at times feel alone and isolated, but who are still willing to lead people by serving them in order to see the justice of God complete. This is the way in which God ends injustice.
Of course, our work will go only as far as our strength and abilities if we do it on our own, but when we are working for the Lord under His infinite strength and wisdom, our victory is guaranteed despite our shortcomings. The end of the psalm reads, “Rise up, O God, judge the earth, for all the nations are your inheritance” (v. 8). The speaker, after hearing God’s command to fight injustice, puts the responsibility back on God because ultimately, it is only He who can guarantee the victory, and in this way Christ and the Church work together.
In the midst of injustice and suffering, as a Christian, I will inevitably wonder where God is, and if I want to know the answer, I must look at what the Church is doing, remembering that I am the Church. If God is to fight injustice, He will do it with His body. I must remember that I am His body, and if I am His body, then it is through me that God will end any injustice. I pray that all of us will understand this and say, “Lord, use me,” for this is the way in which God ends injustice.
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