Is justice essentially mercy? Are they so inexplicably intertwined that there is no seperating them?

I think as Christians we should have a differing view on justice than the world. We should view justice not only as a way to see ‘justice done’, to pay back some unnecessary evil, but as a possible way to rescue the dying souls of this world. I think it could be said that justice is something the Lord can use to draw sinners unto himself.

I’ve also been thinking about what justice looks like coming from the church. From us, it can be compassion. It can be mercy, and it can be a way we follow Christ’s example.

The lyrics from the Sara Groves song “When the Saints” have been playing over and over in my head (and in my car lately) I love the following part of the song:

I see the long quiet walk along the underground railroad

I see the slave awakening to the value of her soul

I see the young missionary and the angry spear

I see his family returning with no trace of fear…

I see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor

I see the man with a passion come and kicking down that door

I LOVE the last two lines above. It is to these two lines that I can be found turning up the volume and pounding on my steering wheel. Perhaps, it is because I have seen the video of this very scene, a man from the International Justice Mission, kicking down that door and rescuing a girl from a life of slavery in the illegal prostitution market. I love the picture of Jesus in that. I love the fact that someone cares enough to go around the world and rescue these girls. I love the fact that upon rescue these girls have a chance to hear the gospel and see how much greater what the Son of God did for them was than the rescue by the men. That is a picture that can make me want to cry. Christians, bearing the image of Christ, pursuing justice in his name. This is a perfect example of why I think justice is really mercy and compassion, and why it is imperative that we as Christians pursue justice. In so doing, we have the chance to not only bear the image of our King, but possibly help draw others to Himself.

So, now I am left with a loaded question… how can/will I pursue justice in a lost and dying world?