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Touching or passing by?

There’s an episode of Law and Order SVU called “Fight.” It’s from the 2007 season and I’ve seen it a couple of times and I caught the last fifteen minutes or so of it this morning as I ate breakfast.  After working through a false lead in the murder of a teenage girl, the investigation brings the detectives to two brothers, Jadon and Ezra.  Dad isn’t around and their mother has an addiction problem (which she supports through prostitution), so they’ve bounced back and forth between her and the foster system.  Predictably, they have spent time in the juvenile detention center yet they’ve somehow managed to graduate high school and are currently attending a local college.  Clearly, they have a chance to break good.

When the evidence starts to point in the direction of the younger Ezra, Jadon confesses to the crime in order to protect him even though Ezra proclaims his innocence.  Jadon goes to court, pleads guilty, and is awaiting sentencing.  The detectives though aren’t totally convinced of Ezra’s guilt and continue to work the case.  They ultimately discover that Ezra was framed by the real murderer and the two young men are cleared.  They are readmitted to college and continue their pursuit of a brighter future.  This is all just a “story,” of course --- but fiction or not, it said something to me about standing for the oppressed.

While watching this, I was also paging through National Geographic. The issue I was looking at had an article about Boko Haram --- the Nigerian Islamic terrorist group responsible for almost 5,000 deaths since 2009.  They’ve been linked with Al Qaeda and have attacked schools, bombed churches, and organized prison breaks.  They’ve even attacked mosques when it’s served their purposes but have targeted Christians from the very beginning.  One of the pictures accompanying the article showed a family walking to church while in the background a police truck equipped with a water cannon offered protection.  The picture you see here shows the scars Janet Daniang bears as a result of a church bombing in 2012. 

It’s hard for us to comprehend what it is like to live under such circumstances yet I believe we need to try if we’re to be faithful to Christ.  And while I understand there may not be a lot we can do to personally to effect situations such as this one, knowing about them and praying about them are steps we can and should take. Justice is a big deal to God (Matthew 23:23), so it should be to us as well. 
Maybe what all of this reminded me of most as I got ready to start my day was how easy it is as a disciple to insulate ourselves in our little world (cocoon), concerned about our family and our friends, but few others --- oblivious to the suffering and pain around us (or even on the other side of the world).  As the body of Christ, we are called to touch the wounded of our world in the name of Jesus --- not pass by on the other side. 
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