Monday, September 13, 2010

Acts of Mercy vs. Acts of Justice

One recent Sunday morning as we settled in and began listening to the message, I couldn't help but laugh.  Yet again, another message speaking directly to us.  Did this sort of thing happen pre-adoption journey?  I am certain it did; however, the magnitude and frequency of these occurrences is worth noting.  God knows those of us on the journey need to hear Him and therefore fills our calendars with these divine appointments. 

The message on this particular Sunday was on the difference between an act of mercy and an act of justice.  Below is the (condensed) story our pastor shared, and one you may be familiar with:
One day, bunch of villagers found a baby floating down the river.  When the elders asked what they would do, the villagers responding by taking the baby in, clothing him, and caring for him.  Every day, the same situation unfolded, only the numbers of babies found each day increased exponentially.  When asked what the villagers would do, every day the response was the same.  The people took in the babies and cared for them.  Finally, one day when asked what they were going to do, a wise man replied, "I want to go up the river and see who keeps placing the babies in the river."
The take away message, and one that just happened to have a literal meaning for us, is that adoption is an act of mercy.  Acts of mercy are certainly good things and God wants us to love and take care of one another.  In addition, adoption is spoken of highly in the Bible.  We are told that God places the lonely in family (Psalm 68:6) and that God cares for orphans and widows (James 1:27).  However, an act of justice requires righting the wrongs that cause adoption to be necessary in the first place.  This is a huge task, obviously.  However, doing nothing is not acceptable.  Proverbs 24:12 tells us that "Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we do not know what to do.  God, who weighs on our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know and holds us responsible to act."  Little by little, as the world becomes a smaller place and ordinary human beings step up and make a difference, the atrocities that occur daily in many parts of the world will hopefully be eradicated.  After all, that is what needs to happen and nothing is too big for God!
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