A God of Justice
The focus this past week in much of our national conversation has been on the topic of assault, specifically sexual assault. In the midst of much lamentable rhetoric, one blessing has been that the reality of violence that many women experience and all women contend with has been brought into new light. I’m grateful especially for the courage of those who have spoken about their own experiences as victims of assault. I’m humbled, grieved and challenged by their stories.
October is “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.” While the conversation of this past week has not necessarily focused on assault in domestic settings, the fact of the matter is that many women do experience predatory behavior and assault in the context of their domestic relationships. The good gifts of marriage and family are often perverted by violence in our fallen world. Even though this reality often remains hidden, it matters deeply to God.
The Gospel story reminds us that God himself, in the person of Jesus, knows abuse; knows violence. Scripture reveals that God is particularly attentive to the cry of those who are oppressed. His justice is more clearly on display in the work of the cross. He cares for the marginalized and victimized, and his coming kingdom is one of justice. As Christians, in our call to be imitators of Christ and imitators of God we too must care about this issue, be willing to open our eyes to it, and to participate with God in seeking justice.
Ally Kern, a member of a church in our diocese, Goldline Church in Los Angeles, has organized a particular campaign around this issue. I encourage you to check it out as one way to respond. The link above has more information. Finally, if you yourself are experiencing any kind of abuse, please don’t be silent and get help.