In his book, Loving Your Neighbor, Mark Labberton makes an appeal for justice as a way of life. He uses a scalpel to carve the picture of three types of human heart. The first is the tyrannical heart, a heart that is evil and dispenses oppression on the weak. The second is the injured heart, a heart that is deeply broken because it bears the trauma of injustice. The second is often the victim of the first. By now you know I am pushing toward a question. You are asking, “Which heart am I?” Labberton suggests a third heart; this is the complacent heart. He writes, “Yet our hearts are weak and confused. Our hearts are easily overwhelmed and self-protective. They are prone to be absorbed with the immediacy of our own lives. Our hearts have the capacity to seek justice, but they are usually not calibrated to do so — at least not beyond concern for our inner circle. In a world of such hearts, virulent injustice thrives. Systemic injustice, the absence of the rule of law, and the suffering of so many innocents at the hand of oppressors rely on the complicity and distraction of our ordinary hearts.” Read that one more time. Now, which heart is yours? I have been all three. All I can do is throw up my hands and ask God to mercifully change mine.
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