Words of Hope: Love in Public
I heard a beautiful quote that justice is love in public. What does loving look like? How much does my desire for love become thwarted by my own dysfunction and aspire for control? I consider my relationship with my youngest daughter, this incredible soul I get to interact with daily. Sometimes what I feel is justice has nothing to do with love. Justice without love is domination, inappropriate wielding of power, retribution, or vengeance. I can be deceived in believing it is just to be angry with my daughter about the mess of her room. This feels like justice, but it is simply bad character and a poor approach to parenting. Anger over a messy room is asinine. Instead, my anger should be toward my lack of parenting and my inability to help my daughter have sustainable organizational habits.
By my description of justice then fairness would be for her to be angry about the state of my kitchen drawers or my garage. Does she have the right to get angry about my shortcomings? This means honoring my daughter the way I would like to honored. Anger is not a motivational tool that is healthy or consistent. Dad was amazing at relational justice. If my brother Jay swore and got disciplined, it was the same discipline Dad got if he swore. Dad didn’t believe in double standards. How often I love to wield the sword of justice without pointing the same reckoning blade at myself. Love in public is very clear. Love is healthy, healing, restorative, wise, and creates greater unity and equality. In my pursuit of justice, is love promoted, is love multiplied, does love win?
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:1-5