I promise I’m not drifting back into some deep discussion of heaven hell and how they may or may not work. This is practical to your life today, promise.
But to start remember that I do like talking about heaven hell and I’m still very confident our view of both really shapes our actions now. If we think hell or heaven for that matter doesn’t exists of course it shapes our actions now right?
But this is more about people who think they are there. People who believe there is an afterlife. Since I find this stuff interesting I end up talking about it with people. I find how people view the afterlife and the stipulations on how you get there fascinating. Well, perhaps better put how your place is decided, how you get to the afterlife is, I think, rather clear.
One theme that comes up over and over and over is the idea of justice.
I was talking with someone about life after death and their understanding about it centered on justice. People have made choices and choices need consequence or outcomes I suppose I the choices are good. There must be justice, both ways.
But I promised this isn’t about heaven and hell but about the right now.
What continues to strike me as odd are people who want and feel there must be justice in the afterlife but seem to have no interests in justice now.
We live in a world filled with injustice. If it’s important enough to choose your eternal fate then perhaps we need to be more involved in justice here and now. But how?
To be honest I struggled with the how. I struggled because the actions that came to mind seemed really devoid of grace. But it changed when I changed my focus. I was looking that the person creating the injustice not the person to whom the injustice was done.
For example, I was going to suggest you could get connected to a shelter and volunteer. A shelter is full of families and children devastated by all types of injustice. But how do you help find justice for someone in a shelter. Do you help an abused woman charge her abuser? Maybe.
To me justice is about what someone deserves. So what does that woman deserve? Love, grace, hope, stability, etc. Can you offer any of that?
Sure her abuser may deserve something too, but what can you do in that moment to bring justice her life?
With that frame I started to think about what does every person deserve?
Food, shelter, love, friends, community, fun, stability, rest…
So go do that!
Share food with the hungry
Offer a room to someone who’s looking
Be generous with your love
Create a friendship then build it into a community
Take a stressed parent out for dinner and a movie
Offer to do dinner for a family in crisis every Monday night
Take someone’s kids for an afternoon so they can rest
Clean someone’s house while they sit and read a book
Plan a time to bring a group together who have fractured
Share love with someone in prison (Grand Valley Institute for Woman is close by)
Jesus calls us to more than justice. To love our enemy and to give grace to those who don’t deserve it. But if your view of the afterlife is that justice must be served then how can you not begin to seek justice here and now? Give to people what they deserve and then some.