True justice delivers judgment that is blind and neutral. The facts combine to product a conclusion. Ideally, there is little that one can do to disagree. The challenge always comes and varies by which side one sits on. If I am applying justice to a situation, it is often easy to assume that I carry a motive that will ultimately use the end result to my advantage. If I am the one being judged, I will feel that compassion and mercy would have been far better applied given the nuances of the situation.
Solomon records a statement of judgment. “A life frittered away disgusts God; he loves those who run straight to the finish line.” (Proverbs 15.9)
Is God going to treat me differently because I want to enjoy life the way that I want to enjoy? Am I handicapped because I am unable to run straight to God’s finish line (assuming that I knew what it was)?
Last night I was a surprise guest at two parties. At each it was easy to see shadows on ones self. The focused intent of a new husband taking on the challenges of a life with a woman he loves and a job that he find challenging, exciting and fulfilling. The reflection of older father thinking of the journey, his contributions, the choices of his children, and the opportunities that remain, truly enjoys talking about life. The carefree and careless attitude of a young man with everything to look forward to yet thirsting for things that he cannot seem to find, catch, or experience. Another in the willful pursuit of pleasure, casually risk everything including his personal safety. Shadows too close for comfort.
The fact is that a life wasted disgusts God. The mystery is that He does not toss each of us in the waste bin. His response to judgment is simple, consistent, and never ending. He brings mercy, compassion, acceptance, love, and Presence to us. He wraps each of these cloths around us without asking for permission.
This is God’s response to us. What is ours?