Monday, May 15, 2017

Judge Righteously

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. ~ Proverbs 31:8-9

Today, out of the blue, I found myself at a Detention Center. There a man, who has been in the U.S. for more than two decades, is incarcerated. Scooped up by ICE. I had never met him before.

Yesterday, I preached on the text in this post. It's human origin is a bit of a mystery. It was penned by a king named Lemuel. It is the only reference to such a person. It is the only time such a king is mentioned. There is no king Lemuel to be found in the line of kings in Scripture. The Divine author of those words is God himself. I'm confident He has not changed His mind on the subject.

Two words in the passage smack me--judge righteously. This man of whom I speak has a family he has faithfully supported, a history of integrity, and none of criminality. At the very least, he is as "American" as any ever born on our soil. But he is behind bars--not the kind with neon lights and shelves full of distilled spirits.

Me, at the present, I'm stuffing down absolute rage. I'm old enough and wise enough to know there can sometimes be a great gulf fixed between "law" and "righteous judgement." His incarceration is devoid of righteous judgment.

I open my mouth and scream on his behalf, but my voice at the present is barely a whisper. I open my mouth and cry for justice, but my words don't have the ear of the Powers to Be.

So what can I do? I cry out to the One who hears me on behalf of the destitute. I call upon the One who can defend the needy. That is not a cop-out. It's the response we, as God-followers, are commanded (not suggested) to do.






Thursday, May 11, 2017

Little Travis

The day before Sandy and I left for China, in 2011, Erika and Justin told us they were pregnant with our first grandchild, the Amazing Wyatt (aka Wolf Cub). His arrival was nine months away. When the little guy entered the big world we were still in Asia, so it was bittersweet. But we have learned to trust God's Providence. Now, in a little more than a month, Justin, Erika, and Wyatt are moving to Cataula, GA.; two miles from The Shire! But that is not all. Erika just gave birth to baby Travis. Wyatt is now a big brother!

Sandy flies to Boston tomorrow; she is beside herself! We are so grateful she will be able to see newborn Travis fresh out of the hatchery! Our newest Shorey boy is as cute and cuddly as can be; steady streams of pictures have been arriving via cyberspace. In a few weeks I fly to Boston and help Justin pack a U-haul for the move to their new home in the southeast! It seems too good to be true.

Already my mind is swirling with the prospect of being "Papa" to those two little guys! Acres and acres of woods and pastures await them. Just as I was with Wyatt, when he caught his first fish out of our pond, I hope to see Travis glow with excitement when the fish line goes taut and a bass thrashes on the surface! Rites of passages must take place: it is time for Wyatt to pass down his electric F150 pick-up truck to little brother. But new adventures await the Wolf Cub!

In the meantime, I'm finding it difficult to focus on anything else...