At high school graduations, it is not uncommon to hear an earful of words of wisdom concerning how to live a productive and meaningful life.
One “wisdom” that still rings in my ears is the pregnant thought, “In the end all things will work out, if not, then the end has not come.”
I was reminded of what the Apostle Paul said in Romans 8:28: “For those who love God and are called according to his purpose, they know that God can work through all things that happen to them for their good and his glory.”
Sometimes, the “good” takes a while to realize. Here I have to inject my mantra, “God is in charge. God knows what he is doing. God always has our best interest in mind.”
Here we can depart from the subject at hand and state that for most of us believers, life is not always easy. There are days when we feel like we are pushing an elephant up a hill, only to reach the top and discover another hill up which we must push the elephant.
We read our Bibles and attend worship services and hear that we are not alone in our struggles. God is with us. But what about the people who do not attend worship services or Bible studies? God cares for them, too.
Here is where we believers come into play. We need to become aware of these neighbors, especially those who are not our relatives and fellow church members, and we need to stand beside them as they have to face often unjust charges, to run interference for them, to remind them that God honors all who stand up for what they believe is good, right and true. God also honors all who stand up for those on the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder to make sure they receive fair and just treatment in our court systems and city services in their communities.
Most of us take great pains to make sure our close friends and relatives receive fair treatment where legal matters are concerned. But what about those people who live marginalized lives and who have no one to stand up for them?
It is so easy for those of us who have productive lives and enjoy the basic benefits of living in a well-run local government to categorize those people in dire straits as being lazy and just looking for a handout.
When investigated further, we might find out that their sad state of affairs is no fault of their own. God must frown when he hears us say, “ God helps those who helps themselves,” which is a half-truth.
The Bible has a lot to say about justice in relation to showing concern for the “stranger” in our midst. I am reminded of a neighbor who recently went with a church group on a mission trip to Peru, of a fellow Rotarian who went with a mission group to Honduras and another Rotarian who this summer returned from a trip to New Guinea to take mosquito netting to help the locals avoid contracting malaria. Even as God has shown his love for us in sending us his Son, let us all in one way or another enable justice to be upheld for all people.
THE REV. GENE NORRIS IS A PRESBYTERIAN PASTOR IN AUGUSTA.