Regards: Justice

Recently I’ve been thinking about forgiveness, what it means, what it looks like, and who gets it. And what no better timing could this post come with the controversy surrounding the execution of Kelly Gissendaner. For those not following #KellyOnMyMind, Kelly has been given the death sentence from the state of Georgia because of her involvement in the 1997 murder of her husband—to put her story lightly. For as we (Christians/Troubled Believers) know, stories run much deeper than 140 characters.
It’s important to note a few things from Kelly’s trial. The first is the Huffington Posts description of the trial points to church workers, community advocates, Kelly’s children, and former inmates begging the decision be revoked. But this is the part that got me—Kelly is a graduate of the Arrandale State Prison’s certificate in theological studies. Holy (you know what)! If that’s not hypocrisy beyond belief then I’m sorry because I must not know what hypocrisy is! Lord, in your mercy! This woman devoted her life to studying principles of retribution, forgiveness, and grace and this jury still believes her life should be ended? I don’t have the facts and figures in front of me, but I don’t think this is what these guiding principles look like. Moreover, the jury was probably made up of a majority of Christians. A lot of Christians are currently worried over the persecution of Christians by the Islamic state ISIS, but are blind to the Christian persecution of other Christians.
The second major event to note is that as of today the jury is seated in Boston for the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnov where Tsarnov will face either a life in prison or the death penalty for crimes committed against humanity in the bombing of the Boston Marathon that took place in 2013. I remember a few weeks ago texting a good friend, “they’re putting off the trial because the lawyers are arguing for a more unbiased jury! I hate people!” But I began to process this feeling this sentiment after she texted back, “everyone’s entitled to a fair trial.” And I think that’s what’s ignited a new passion in me over the past few months. What is forgiveness? Who gets it? How do we love our enemy? Where do we find Bondye (God)? Is Bondye in the lawyers requesting a more fair trial for Tsarnov? I say, yes. Initially, I accused and felt rage that the trial wouldn’t move forward—here is someone who has committed an atrocity, the trial won’t go anywhere, everyone will have a bias. *I* thought the trial should end with a life in prison with justice being served if Tsarnov can prove that what he did was wrong while on his sentence. *I* believed that justice was in this opportunity to change or “better” oneself—a notion inherently American. But that’s not justice. And if it is, *I’m* not the person who gets to make that decision.
If we are to be followers of Christ, then we are called to listen. We are called to listen to our neighbor who wants to tell us about how he’s the “baddest Pimp in the game” and about the people he takes down for pleasure. We are called to listen to Bondye breath through the lawyers requesting a more fair trial for someone in need of a little compassion. One of the hardest things for me to do is to have my own opinion as a Troubled Believer and what is Bondye’s will. I want so badly to have an opinion and I want to express it because not expressing it feels like blind believing and I can’t stand blind believing! If we can’t bring our fears, our doubts, and our ideas to Bondye and the church, then why follow? But then *I* begin to think and *I think* the answer lies in trust. When we trust that Bondye will decide, and when we trust that Bondye will serve justice (possibly not on this earth) then maybe (just, maybe) that’s a reason to not be as troubled.