And Liberty and Justice for All

My friend Kim has an uncle that was an employee of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran when it was overtaken by President Ahmadinjad and his fellow students and militants on November 4, 1979. He was one of 52 people who were held for 444 days with the new Iranian government behind the scenes.

I’ll never forget the day I met him. When he entered the room, I was filled with an indescribable type of shame and I blurted out to him that I was so sorry. He gracefully smiled and said “oh dear child, that was so many years ago and you had nothing to do with it.”

Shortly after the hostage crisis began, my own great-uncle was an author and journalist was imprisoned for exercising the human right of free speech and standing for what is right. My uncle was released after several months in jail where he was tortured physically and forced to watch people killed in front of him. He was accidentally paroled and by the time the officials realized their mistake, he had gone into hiding and eventually escaped to Paris. My uncle continued to use his voice by writing and speaking of the beauty that was once Iran was and the hope of what could still be realized until he took his last breath.

Micah 6:8 states, “He has told you, O Man what is good and what the LORD requires of you… to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

My uncle acted justly using the gift of writing that God had given him. He loved mercy because although he was put to shame, punishment and driven to fear, he did not turn his back on the nation that turned its back on the people. Instead, he fought for her through his words and relationships with other voices of leadership, community and the nations.

Those of us who say we are making every attempt to walk humbly with our God say we walk, but along the way are we taking steps of justice on behalf of others? Are we showing mercy to those who need it? Mercy is defined as an act of kindness, compassion or favor…particularly when it is undeserved.

While the US government is choosing to limit the use of its voice, the Church is free to speak up in a way that respectfully transcends the decisions of our government. As my friend stated today, “the Saints have a voice of authority before the throne of Grace…what greater power of protest is there?”

So today, as reports of acid being dropped from helicopters flooded twitter, images of people being beaten and killed covered the internet and cable news channels, the fight for freedom, opinion, election has indeed escalated.

We celebrate Father’s Day today. Let’s not lose sight of the Father whose heart breaks for those whom He sent His Son to die for. Many need encouragement that comes with knowing the fullness to the Oneness of the God they are crying out to… there is love, grace and mercy found in Jesus and there is faith, power and courage in the Spirit. We have seen this displayed in the history we share with Persians through Esther, Mordecai, Nehemiah and the Wise Men who came bearing gifts when the most beautiful revolution of all began.

Church – let us sing and not be silent, let us intervene, intercede, speak out and pray for justice for the oppressed, mercy for those who are crying out, courage to continue to rise up and give way to true freedom and righteous leadership. Let’s ask for wisdom and direction to move in the direction that is only according the will of God. Let us not shrink back from giving a hand through media support, words of encouragement and our fervent prayers.

If you have a voice, use it.

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”