Proverbs 21:15: Acting justly is a joy to the righteous, but dreaded by those who do evil. (CEB)
I suppose most of us would prefer a system where those who do evil would immediately get a "go to jail, do not collect $200" kind of experience. But life is so much more complex than that. Any contact with the legal system provides instant enlightenment on the inequities between people with resources (money, jobs, education, families willing and able to help) and those with less or without. In short, we have hard data to show that being poor makes it harder to have positive outcomes when accused of criminal behavior. In my home county it was determined that people who were charged with DUI spent more days in jail than people charged with DUI manslaughter. There are many issues bleeding into those numbers, but based on study into research one of the most likely causes is that DUI manslaughter is scarier so families are more likely to pay for a lawyer faster, no matter the cost. Lack of access to justice is at least as problematic for victims of crime who have no personal representation in criminal courts. (The "victim" has morphed into the amorphous "we" of society being wronged, further distancing victims of crime from individual restoration of financial losses, or apologies, or more individual compensation--say, having the offending teen help do yard work for the person whose house was vandalized or having fines contribute to restore financial loss).
This is an even more complex problem in these times of growing domestic abuse, sexual abuse (growing in step with increasing access to pornography's exploitation of minor and normalization of violence), elder abuse (as grown children so often live at a distance to parents which makes it difficult to evaluate changes in health and acuity), financial abuse (as financial, tax and investment options grow more complex and interconnected, and scammers proliferate targeting those with financial need awash in poor financial literacy. The more complex life and information the more room for evil, greed and fear to flourish.
So I especially appreciate my experience in acting justify. Proverbs says to act justly is to have joy. I try to avoid wicked behavior but this is more than not behaving badly; this is acting proactively in support of justice. And that first part, that to act justly is to have joy, that is so, well JOYOUS! It is not always comfortable or easy or popular, but oh the joy.
If you are considering how you might ACT justly, have I got people for you to talk to! As we ponder during this time of COVID and as we revisit what we want to be societal norms, how we wish to go forward, what we wish to commit and risk for the remaining days of our lives, I promise you that an investment in justice is indeed a thing of joy (also frustrating, heart breaking and all but overwhelming, of course) and wholly worth whatever time, money, energy, prayer, advising, encouraging you wish to invest.
No matter your situation or resources, there is plenty of opportunity be proactive, to ACT justly. Message me and let's talk.