Because things break. Then they need fixing. They go wrong. Then they need to be made right.
A crooked painting. Flat tire. Drop your phone and the screen shatters. Things get crooked and punctured and cracked. Then we straighten, repair, fix.
Same thing with our bodies. Broken femur. High blood pressure. A new virus. So get a cast, change your diet and exercise, (hopefully) find a vaccine.
The word justice is simply that – the idea of fixing or bringing rectitude to a thing that is broken. Making something right.
Social justice is fixing or brining justice to a social issue. After a hurricane, we bring food and medical supplies to victims. After September 11, 2001, we rushed to ground zero to bring physical relief.
Much philanthropy consists of people caring for people — feeding the hungry, giving clothes to the naked, helping the sick in body, advocating on behalf of the marginalized.
If you study the life of Jesus, bringing social justice to the poor, sick, oppressed, outsider — this is the great legacy of true religion, caring for widows and orphans, including speaking-up on their behalf to their oppressors.
A kind of social justice consumes my heart daily: social justice toward children.
Of course, children are always innocent and vulnerable, always. Those in foster care — our modern-day orphans — suffer perhaps the worst kind of injustice. It wasn’t a bomb or an earthquake or famine that caused their horror – it was their parent.
Neglect, abuse, then abandonment, from the one who was supposed to love, protect, nurture.
During Covid-19, these children are suffering like never before. Incidents of death due to child abuse are escalating at alarming rates. In a March 24th piece in The Atlantic titled The Kids Aren’t All Right, the social injustice is made clear:
“For children who spend time in multiple households, rely on outside figures for guidance or mentoring..prolonged social-distancing measures will mean profound separation from some people who provide care.”
It doesn’t have to be so.
We can bring justice.
For the children,