Practicing everyday justice

by Wayne Schwab

Let’s define justice – in a way that is both fresh and biblical. That means equal access – everyone gets equal access to the good things in life. For many, that can mean a home with good parenting, good schools, a job, and good health care. Equal access to the good things in life – that’s justice.

Here’s the story.  It’s about a mother and her nine-year-old daughter.  Where is justice in it?

Four friends have come to play with Sally. Sally has disappeared. She is under her bed crying. ”They don’t want to play with me.”

Sally has acted this way before. Sally imagines bad things – that they have come just to play on the new trampoline and might leave her out. “Sally, your friends have been looking all over the house for you.  They really want to play with you.”

She said it several times. Finally Sally came out. In time, Sally learned to see real friends liked her, not just her toys.  They had come to see her.

A happy ending. Sally, now a ninth-grader, has lots of friends; she’s a first-rate swimmer on the school’s team; and raises money for the team.

A loving parent, sure.  Did you catch her justice?

Justice for Sally was access to the good parenting every child is entitled to. Her mother did not say, “Sally doesn’t feel well – come back tomorrow.” For Sally, justice meant being taught to see things as they really are, not how she imagines them to be. Her friends really liked her, not just her toys.  Her mother made sure she could see the truth.

That’s some of the justice of good parenting – being taught how to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s only imagined.

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