Deep justice is hard to find.

I read an article recently that kind of disturbed me.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the death penalty. Obviously there has to be some sort of punishment for crimes that are committed in our society. But even if I set my moral objections aside (taking a life in exchange for a life will eventually just kill us all...), doesn't it seem like this is a bit of a cop out? If we would leave a person who committed that crime in jail for the rest of his life, he'd have his whole life to reflect upon what he's done, what impact he had on the families of the victims. When he dies, that's it, it's up to him and God.

I could go on for quite a while about how vengeance is supposed to be reserved for God. I could write about how I've been reading in Eziekel how much God despises violence (and I would argue that even killing a person with an injection is violent). But really, one quote from this story stuck out to me:

"Well, myself, I wish Malvo was right there beside Muhammad," said Moore, whose sister, FBI analyst Linda Franklin, was gunned down in Virginia. "They both committed the same crimes. No, I don't feel any closure. I mean, it's ... it ... nothing changes."

Now granted, I have never had my sister shot by a team of snipers. I've never felt the sting of pain that this man is going through, and I truly feel for him and his loss. I understand there's a lot more pain in this situation than I can possibly understand (yeah, read that again). But I wonder if having the young man in the chair next to Muhammad would have brought this guy the closure he was seeking? Would the extra death really have brought any comfort at all? Or would that pain and longing still be there?

I think that from time to time, we search for the quick answer. There is absolutely no question that Moore was wronged here. Deeply, deeply wronged. There is a complete lack of justice in his situation, and I would never argue any other way. But I don't think killing anyone else brings justice to the situation. I don't think there is a quick justice for the families of the sniper attacks. Or fort hood. Or 9/11.

Deep justice is hard to find.

But the reality of the situation is that God is the source of justice. Nothing goes before his eyes unaccounted for. And while we might wonder how he could let such things happen, how these events could possibly go unchallenged, we have to rest securely in his grace and mercy and justice, rather than try to make our own.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below.




shallowfrozenwater said...

an eye for an eye just leaves you blind and unrepentant. i suppose that i oppose the death penalty because it doesn't really allow for rehabilitation and repentance.