Sunday, May 23, 2010

Justice and Mercy: A Message to Politicians

Alright all you current government officials out there. This post is in order for me to give you some downright truths that I hope you can take a hold of. I believe there are some good people who go into politics. I believe many go into public service with the attitude to do just that, serve. But, unfortunately it seems that far too many get sucked into some corrupt greedy vortex. Again I believe there are some good people in politics, so this message does not necessarily apply to all of them, but most.

Why is it that the American public doesn't trust or really like our Government officials? Have you seen Congress' approval rating these past couple of years? I think many politicians would say that people just don't agree with their political parties or they see that the Government is not moving quickly enough. Those might be partially to explain the dislike. But, honestly I think at the root is that the American people know in their guts that the Government officials are not being just. Justice is fairness and equality before the law. Most of us Americans know that too many Government officials put themselves above the law. We see people not pay their taxes and get a promotion. We see backroom deal making. We see greedy land and money grabs. We see broken promises. We see the attempts to mollify the people by presenting short term solutions, which actually in the end just make things worse. We see lying. We see immorality. We see corruption seething through and through in both parties. Seeing all of that going on, why in the world would we trust? Why in the world would we feel any sense of compassion towards a Government that is increasingly feeling oppressive?

I believe with every part of me that redemption is possible. I've felt it in my own life. I've seen it in the lives of others. I've seen miracles, and to deny the reality of redemption would be a farce and a discredit to what I know to be true. So, my message to politicians is that you can come back. You can return to that feeling of just wanting to serve. But, mercy is only possible if justice is served first. In order to find mercy you have to come clean. You have to put it all out there in the open. You have to be painfully upfront and honest with yourself first, than with God, than with the people you took an oath to uphold. The Constitution is the guide, and that is "We the People." There is no shortcut to this. But, believe me when I say you can absolutely find mercy once you've taken the proper steps.

I used to teach Sunday School and Scripture study out at one of the prisons in my area. It was such a heartwarming experience. I was blessed to work with people who were in the trenches of repentance. They taught me so much about my own life and the steps I need to take in order to truly find mercy. One of the sweetest experiences I had while there was watching a musical of David and Goliath with the inmates. Now, the musical has its rather corny bits, but this one song in particular was really touching for them and me. In fact there were tears streaming down the faces of some of those inmates. They felt that hope that comes from knowing that there is mercy. These were people who were willing to pay the penalty for their crimes, knowing that at the end they could find compassion, redemption and mercy.

The song is an exchange between David and Saul. Saul had started out as a good and righteous king, but he became corrupt with power and wealth. I have thought of this song much in the past little while when thinking about our current politicians.

I say again, there is a way back. But, the only way to mercy is to answer the call of justice. You must step forward into the light and take the courageous step of revealing the truth, every layer of it. Come into the light and feel how cleansing sorrow can be, and how utterly magnificent redemption and mercy are.

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