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The Justice Series: Parts 1-4

In honor of launching our website we curated a 4 piece blog that questioned four different people, all in different walks of life, on what the word "Justice" means to them. This is part one, written by Ginger Cox

My story on how injustice and justice are portrayed.

When something bad happens, ask... why did this happen?  Instead of a punishment, discuss possible solutions to "what can be done now to make it better?"

What happened? I have a profound hearing loss due to many bouts of ear infections as a baby. There is a longer family history of ear infections, and mastoiditis. During the last bout of ear ache, I was sick with a cold and was left in babysitter's care (my aunt) while my mother went to the hospital and delivered my brother. In those days mothers stay in the hospital for one week. The babysitter gave me a cool bath to cool my temperature.  When my mother returned home, she noticed I did not respond to her.  She took me to the family doctor, he instructed her to wait 4 weeks and reassures her that earache will dissolved. With 3 weeks of banging my head on the wall due to throbbing pains, my mother took me to the ENT specialist who discovered green puss and rushed me to the hospital for ear drainage. As a result, my father was ashamed of a "disabled" baby.  In those days, parents hide these imperfect children away. So instead he left his marriage for my mother to deal with it.

What can be done to make it better? Whose fault was this?  Was it my family history? My mother? My aunt? My family doctor?  My father? All were unplanned situations that were harming me.  Do I blame any of them?  No.  I truly feel God wanted me to lose my hearing and start me on a path where He will be glorified by me and the people He placed in my path.

How is justice served when a person is harmed? With everyone's assistance, I received love and justice through many people such as Easter seal society who supplied a free hearing aid to my divorced mother; special school for the deaf run by two very dedicated unmarried women; teachers' advocacy educated hearing children not to make fun; inventors who made improvement in hearing aid and transitioned us to another level of sounds through cochlear implants; and many people, (including my family, my husband and sons), benefitted in shaping my life and praying that I can move forward in life. Everyone are still being blessed for their part.

Do I blame God for allowing me to be deaf?  No. I think I was blessed with ability to talk, to adjust to the hearing world, to spend my "quiet" time with Him, and to encourage others who are more fortunate to try opportunities such as speaking engagements.

A huge benefit: I sleep better at nights without disruptive sounds.

Another benefit in that I can pay it forward to those who helped me.  For example, other people who are losing their hearing whether young or old came to me for guidance. Recently my aunt who was so distraught in losing her hearing from radiation therapy to her neck. She came to me about her frustrations in conversations and inability to hear typical sounds like where she dropped her stuff like the keys. I advised her to use her eyes more for clues and to spend this "quiet" time with her Lord. She is a devout Christian and loves the idea of spending quiet time in her communication with God. She became peaceful and she adjusted to the life with her hearing aid and adapted to allowing other people help her in her path. She benefitted from my experiences and she has a much better understanding of what I endured as a young child.  In paying it forward, she is helping other elders in her community.

What did the bible say? There are many verses that we can ponder and focus on ways of promoting justice. These verses are found in the Old Testament before Jesus Christ came to teach us.

http://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/bible-verses-about-justice/

In my baby boomer generation there is a phrase called the "Golden Rule" and it refers to Matthew 7:12: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Jesus knew the human heart and its selfishness. The Golden Rule is a standard where selfish people can determine their actions and change to actively treat others the way they themselves like to be treated.

Fruit of the spirit concept: I read somewhere where one child says it perfectly, "let's be kind to one another.  If you don't, somebody will get hurt." That is justice.

 

Ginger Cox loves to sail, and having recently retired, she is currently training to embark on the Pacific Cup (a sailboat race from San Francisco to Hawaii) with her husband. Ginger has an adventurous spirit, and a heart full of compassion. 

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In honor of launching our website we curated a 4 piece blog that questioned four different people, all in different walks of life, on what the word "Justice" means to them. This is part two, written by Chad Smith

 Remember the time Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat on the public bus because she believed the color of her skin shouldn't determine her placement as a human being? You probably read that and thought I was confused about the story of Rosa Parks. 

 

Nine months before the historic moment when Rosa Parks, a seamstress in Alabama, refused to give up her seat on the bus, a 15 year old high school student was arrested for the same act causing the bus driver and other people to become outraged that she was taking the privileged seat of a white person. 

 

This was Claudette Colvin, but you've probably never heard of her. How much courage did it take to stand up (well, sit down) for injustice in her day? What affect would it have? Well, for her part, she wouldn't see the affect for 15 months and she probably wondered if her courage had any meaning at all. But it did.

 

Besides Claudette, there were countless others who stood against the injustice of racial segregation on public buses. Some made their stand as far back as 15 years before a law was finally passed in 1956 which we attribute to Rosa Parks. Besides being arrested, many of these men and women were beaten for their "crimes" against the culture. Most of these people you've never heard of, but all made their stand. 

 

Looking back on events like this, my heart can feel discouraged by the hatred of man and blindness of their hearts. How can humans be so cruel to one another? The reality is injustice is more prevalent today, maybe more viewable today, than it ever has been on the planet. It is ever before our eyes. There is a need for justice.

 

Many people think of justice work as busting down brothel doors as seen in high budgeted films. Or maybe committing near 50 years your of life like William Wilberforce to see slavery end in your country. And while those roles are needful and an intricate part of justice- for every Rosa Parks, there are many Claudette's. 

 

Justice doesn't just happen. We can't just hope to wake up one day to see that slavery has ended in our time. Justice is countless individuals being a voice for the voiceless. We must all do our part to stand with those enslaved and fight on their behalf in small ways and in big ways. If we don't do it, who will? 

 

Chad Smith is currently serving as a long term volunteer with Agape International Missions in Cambodia. He has a deep love for coffee, and lights up any room he walks into! 

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 In honor of launching our website we curated a 4 piece blog that questioned four different people, all in different walks of life, on what the word "Justice" means to them. This is part three, written by Josie Clayton

To me, justice truly holds all the power, the wealth of our knowledge-for life. Without justice there would not be structure to society. Even throughout our struggles, justice brings each of us our own individuality; our own sense of morality. I believe, that in order for my life to flourish I need to possess a wholesome bundle of justice. And you should to!

We can measure justice on the spectrum of equality. Each of us holds a little bit of dignity, that burning fire flickering deep inside of us. The key to using our dignity and demonstrating our own justices is decided upon by ourselves, by our own judgments, and by our own beliefs. Our abilities are tested naturally and in accordance with the development of society.

Justice isn’t just something we all are born with, it’s a power beyond itself that we choose to utilize. We can use it fairly or toss it aside and never cross paths with it again. Justice comes with the administration of fairness. It’s important to remember that justice is a heavy topic that should be handled with the utmost care, thinking of it in terms of a “social contract.”

Essentially, we all hold the key to our own lives, thus we can use justice in any form we see fair. If used correctly, justice can bring peace. It can transform lives and will bring reason, structure, and truth. Justice is not a one sided topic, rather it needs to maintain a balance. As beautifully noted by an infamous historical activist, “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Josie Clayton is currently finishing her bachelors in English Literature at the University of Nevada, Reno. She loves to be in nature- whether she is hiking, biking, or climbing! She is an awesome cook, and an awesome human being. 

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In honor of launching our website we curated a 4 piece blog that questioned four different people, all in different walks of life, on what the word "Justice" means to them. This is part four, written by Marena Jim.

Justice is the legal action taken for the purpose of demonstrating fairness in order to keep the balance between goodness and impartiality. Every action has consequences. The degree of consequences may vary according to the degree of actions. If a man commits a premeditated murder, the justice system may be required to take action by taking his life. However, if he was to commit a simple lie to a friend, the degree of consequences may be less severe. Regardless the action, there will be consequences. This is one of the mini-ways that reminds us that Jesus is a God of order and justice (Isaiah 61:8-9). Since man is created in His likeness, He has imputed His characteristics in each one of us, one of which is justice. This is why man craves justice in the midst of injustice or unfair situations. We long to be like the Creator, this is why leaders of nations and countries place the justice system in society to hold individuals and the whole cosmos together.

Justice flows from God’s heart and character. He longs for His people to be holy like He is and often times when people commit sin, His character of justice is prevailed as punishment for their sins. One can see His justice is demonstrated throughout the Old Testament, where God often times dealt with men’s sin very harshly. In order to be saved, holiness and righteousness are required from an individual and this was impossible for there is none righteous, not even one (Roman 3:10-12). This is why Jesus, God’s only Son, gave himself and hung on a tree for mankind so that man can become righteous in the sight of God through the perpetuation of sin.  

Marena Jim was born and raised in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In a few months she is going to the U.S. to finish her degree in nursing so she can pursue her passion of good healthcare in Cambodia. Marena makes a mean banana bread, and her laughter is infectious. 

 



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