Justice as punishment, retribution for wrong doing or settling the score is not our responsibility apart from our civil duty as part of a representative form of government. This one is handled socially in a court of law and in the end by the judgment of God. This part of justice is best left to God and the state. As the scriptures remind us, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).
However, justice in terms of fairness and equality is our responsibility and it comes down to how we deal with our fellow human beings. It is spelled out in terms of worth and dignity, and evidenced by how we treat the people around us.
God is always on the side of the poor, the innocent and the foreigner. When He handed down laws to the children of Israel there were provisions made for these people, because God knew that they would get trampled by society otherwise. You and I as followers of Christ need to pick up this priority and see that the poor, the innocent and the foreigners within our sphere of influence get valued and lifted up. It is our charge to go out of our way to do this because no one else will. And it’s not just about food, clothing and handing out a few dollars here and there. It’s about giving people back their worth and dignity.
Marti’s work at the Isaiah House is all about dignity, not sheltering and feeding the homeless. That’s why she prefers to call them “women without homes” instead of “the homeless.” “The homeless” is a category; “women without homes” are individuals, each with a name and a story. All of our special programs are specifically designed to honor those names and tell those stories. The soup kitchen aspect of Isaiah House is a given. These women will get fed, clothed and a roof over their heads. Marti has made it her goal to see that they get honored. That is justice being done.