The Great Challenge in Pursuing Justice (including the Syrian crisis)

While many Americans were getting ready for bed last night, the U.S. Military struck a Syrian airbase used to deploy chemical warfare on it’s own citizens, including young children. The photos from earlier in the week were horrific. However, they were not the first set of photos. This crisis began in 2011 and hit a fever pitch in 2013. For a significant portion of our population this is major news.  We’re frankly so distracted by the business of our lives and the bevy of partisan political news, that genocide can go unnoticed by the masses. (See Rwanda)

The greatest challenge the U.S. Government and any coalition it might form to combat the injustice of the radical Assad regime will face is:

Perseverance.

This is certainly not a new development.  The biggest misunderstanding people have when it comes to the pursuit of justice – whether it be racial, gender, economic or otherwise – is that it requires action. This view actually creates a false set of expectations.  We expect that if we just do something, that something good will happen. That isn’t always the case.  In the pursuit of justice, it’s rarely the case. Here’s why:

The pursuit of justice requires action, upon action, upon action, upon action …

The pursuit of justice requires a marathon of action, not a quick sprint. It takes more than a momentary and emotionally charged moment. It requires longsuffering and perseverance. It requires extraordinary grit. It requires steely determination that is resolute regardless of the emotions.  This is what separates rhetoric from the real.

It’s Winston Churchill saying in the face of Nazi Germany: “If you are going through hell, keep going.”

It’s Martin Luther King Junior to those weary in the fight for racial equality: “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

It’s Jesus staring down the wrath of God saying, “Not my will be done, but yours Lord.”

Passion may spur you to action, but perseverance in that action is the only thing that will afford change and bring about justice.

My hope is that our leaders will count the cost. That they will persevere in the fight of injustice. That they will be willing to suffer terrible poll numbers when the passion of the masses fades once again amidst the distraction of sports and partisan politics.

It’s also my hope that in our little corner of the world, far from the headlines of the New York Times and network news, that we will be faithful with whatever God has given our hands to do. That when we are weary in the pursuit of justice, will with resolve and full dependence of Jesus ultimate work of justice press on.

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