Monday, March 7, 2011

Proximate Justice

Steven Garber responded to my last post and placed his comment on my facebook page. I felt his response would make sense here, too. Steve often uses the word "proximate" in helping us reach a place where we acknowledge that justice or love or even the coffee I make is not going to be perfect even though we strive for it. So the question then is: how do we live in this precarious place desiring the Kingdom of God to be fully present and when it is not, how do we live faithfully? Answering that question has shaped much of his own life and ministry.

Steven wrote: "I don't know Steve Schaper, at all. But I wonder what on earth in Margie's post could possibly be seen as a universal statement about police brutality? It fails in even the most pedestrian logic. Most of the world lives by tit-for-tat, an eye for an eye. You gore my ox, and I will gore yours. It is a dead-end. I have many commitments, one being the Middle East, and especially the generational struggle between the Israelis and the Palestinians. It is a short-term fiction to think that one can be "for the Israelis" as over against the Palestinians-- and the reverse is just as much a problem. The harder work is being "for" both histories, and both futures. Sort of like being "for" public justice in Houston, huh? Or maybe even Madison? Unless we are content with justice being just "just us," that is. The real "killer" here-- excuse the term --is that Margie's much-loved brother is a county sheriff in Minnesota, and I know for my years of listening that he embodies a just mercy, a merciful justice. And that was what is missing from the arrest on the streets of Houston."

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