I was held up at gunpoint a few years ago by two black guys in Baltimore and held in contempt before church leaders as they misunderstood my re-telling of the event. Quick to respond in anger and judgment because of their own reference point on racism, they failed to hear the perspective of everyone involved. They missed the view of the young man sitting next to me in my car as the gun was pointed at my temple. They missed my view of being scared for my life and wanting to protect my friend. They missed the prayer I prayed out-loud for protection that had the gunmen perplexed. And they stopped me short of sharing how a bad situation was redeemed because they had already assumed they discerned the reasons why, how and when the incident occurred. Nobody at church was able to list positive evidence on their docket about my whereabouts during the 4am incident because they already considered me guilty of being on the wrong side of town. Their verdict had already been made based on numerous opinions about my tact, approach to miracles, company I kept and outrageous experiences that they deemed impossible because of their conservative approach to faith.
Had my Christian friends seen the situation with spiritual eyes they would have heard how the testimony played out. Once the gunmen ran off with my friends money and my phone, I thanked God that we were strategically placed between a strip club we had prayed in earlier that night, and the police station. As we made a report the black police officers shared their stories of dealing with black on black crime as men of color and being in a police uniform. They opened my eyes to a special kind of hate, the kind that assumes they are betraying their own kind. I had felt that from other believers before as they subtly pushed me out of their churches because I acknowledged a growing problem with manipulation and hypocrisy from their pulpits. I guess I should have known that justice on the streets cries out much the same in church if everyone involved believes their opinion is right. If God’s kids are fighting over sin crimes it should come as no surprise that our lawmakers, politicians, and businesses will all turn on each other too.
The beautiful thing about justice is that everyone believes they should have it. Doesn’t matter if they have to scream, push or fight for it, they just want it. Heck these days people picket, shoot, steal, hack, pimp, deal or sell for it. And that’s where we are all wrong. Beneath my opinion, your opinion, the Doctor’s opinion or the government’s opinion, is a broken person. People make up rules and demands and sell themselves short of justice because they adhere to someone else’s suggestion. And in most cases the power of suggestion gains power when more people think like it instead of themselves. Unfortunately, justice becomes a thing people hate over and believe they cant have unless they are heard.
I’m suggesting that justice is a right each of us can have. For as many dialects, draws, accents and sounds there are to each language in the world, let that represent all the different opinions our languages speak. Why would we assume our fight for justice is more important or impactful than the next guy if we don’t learn his language? I’ve learned the lingo of Christians but found my lifestyle repels most of them because I hang out with the strippers, prostitutes,homosexuals, Mexicans, criminals and the cops. I have been given eyes to see and ears to hear and I have been observing with them for many years now. I have seen a shift in the most recent years and it usually leaves those who have to be “right” in the dark concerning grace, love and compassion. Today’s Pharisees take the microphone out of the hands from believers who want to share a testimony of God’s great justice. Many miss the point when they give attributes and descriptions of Him as an angry judger because they want the masses to become followers of them instead. In this era, knowledge will tear down what Holy Spirit orchestrates because those who have been dismissed or judged in the name of justice, will finally be heard.
When a co-worker can return to work after being held up at gunpoint and give testimony about a chic’s prayer saving his life, even the non-believers will listen. I didn’t expect to pray with my friend, the cops or the two men who were caught, nor did I expect any of them to receive it, it just so happened that everyone did. More lives were saved that night than just mine, four others who had their very own perspective of justice, met the ONE who died unjustly for them.