This morning, a well-known activist in the pro-life community, known for “sidewalk counseling” outside of abortion clinics in his community, was arrested by the FBI. Early in the morning, at his home, while his children screamed. There were many armed agents, a full SWAT team with powerful rifles, as if they were ready to engage in a shootout with a dangerous gang of criminals. At first, they even refused to present the warrant they had brought, until after they had completed the arrest.
Why? Because of an alleged violation of the FACE Act, that had been thrown out of court and dismissed altogether in the last year. There are plenty of articles about the circumstances, in that this activist pushed an aggressive and unwell pro-abortion activist away from harassing his 12-year-old son. Another detail that colors the story differently is that this abortion activist had been harassing this minor for weeks on end, resulting in the altercation to move him away from the boy. The wife says that her husband pushed him away, and he fell, without any injuries. There was a lawsuit by the “injured” party later. However, as noted before, no actual injuries were sustained, and the lawsuit was quickly thrown out.
I apologize for any biased, bitter language. It is difficult for me not to want to be so angry that I could cry when I read these stories. It isn’t something that is meant to happen in godly governments or nations built on the principles of freedom. It feels like there continues to be too many instances of certain law enforcement officials behaving in a shocking manner, toward citizens of this nation. I read through my devotions after being enraged by this story, and there was a passage from Isaiah that cooled me in an instant. Then, I knew I had to write, or risk sitting on a frustration that would edify no one.
See my servant, whom I uphold; my Chosen One in whom I delight. I have put my Spirit upon him; he will reveal justice to the nations of the world. He will be gentle — he will not shout nor quarrel in the streets. He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the dimly burning flame. He will encourage the fainthearted, those tempted to despair. He will see full justice given to all who have been wronged. He won’t be satisfied until truth and righteousness prevail throughout the earth, nor until even distant lands beyond the seas have put their trust in him. (Isaiah 42:1–4)
This is Jesus. This is who He is, and what He does. He reveals justice to the nations, not with violence but with perfect truth. He does not raise His voice in a shout or riot in the streets. He does not sit on anger until it stews into resentment. He does not focus on being so loud and vengeful that the broken are shattered beyond repair. He does not break those who are hurting, or put out the hope of the disappointed. He will see justice delivered to those who have been wronged, no matter who wronged them. Jesus’ perfect judgement will not be satisfied or finished until the whole earth is covered by it.
The prophet sees a Chosen One who will not only quell evil and injustice in Israel, but will reach out beyond to the most remote and distant place. When we read stories of infuriating injustice, it can weigh on us. Even our bodies can feel the weight of that need for injustice. For me, what I keep seeing is a haunting image of tear-streaked, terrified children, who can’t comprehend where their dad is going or why. That is hard — that makes me angry.
But Jesus is the balm for that. I can try as much as I can, but my anger won’t accomplish anything, not on its own. When I recall the prophets, remember that they were exposed to an onslaught of injustice and grotesque immorality for decades, I remember that God sees it, too. Those prophets poured out their anger and heartache and let the Lord replace it with warnings of judgement and promises of redemption. Most importantly, the saw Someone that would make it all right.
We live in a nation built upon freedom and godly principles, and we have endured much. Some of it of our own making, some the result of the harshness of reality. We have also seen too far much good for it to be thrown away by some foolish leaders. We will see much more good when others take their place. The prophets saw a similar kind of history unfold, good kings and bad, and God’s way always won out, no matter how much evil protested.
But what about right now, for that family? For children terrified by stern, armed men taking their dad in aggressive fashion? What about other families who read this story and wonder if the same could happen because of their own ministry toward abortion-minded women? What about legislators who are fighting to do what is right, feeling drowned out by popular policy and hunger for profit? What about the countless voices rising to resist the rot of immorality?
Jesus is the balm, the Chosen One, the bringer of gentle, perfect justice.
He will make all of it right. Now, and in eternity. Fixate on the good that He is already doing — before you know it, the dark will seem like nothing but a tiny, unnoticeable stain. I say that, because it is true, and because I needed to hear it, too.