Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Justice Versus Charity

As seen on one of those cute/inspirational Facebook posters:

Charity pulls people out of the water.  Justice jumps in, swims upstream and stops the people who are throwing them in.

Fictional Conversation:

Justice: Hi Charity, still busying yourself feeding as many hungry as you possibly can, I see.

Charity: Yes.  Those who work with me have fed billions over the years.  It's a never ending battle.

Justice: I seem to remember telling you that.  I seem to remember telling you that unless the system is changed, "the poor you will always have with you."

Charity: I understand that all too well.  That is why I continue to work.

Justice: But you are not changing anything.  I am working to change things.  I am working to overthrow the system and replace it so that no one ever has to go hungry again.

Charity: That sounds fantastic!  That would give me an opportunity to finally rest.

Justice: Well, why don't you take a break now, come with me, and work with me for change?

Charity: Hmmm.  The opportunity intrigues me, but please let me ask a few questions to begin with.

Justice: O.K.

Charity: What do you actually do?

Justice: I speak Truth to power.

Charity: O.K.  What does that entail?

Justice: I lobby...er...advocate in front of governments to pass laws to care for the poor and oppressed.  I work to ensure that there are programs and monies set aside to ensure that everyone be fed, clothed, housed, educated, treated for illness and disease, and have everything they need to live without fear of hunger, thirst, being homeless, or other such malady.

Charity: That sounds O.K.  How successful have you been?

Justice: Monumentally, actually.  Because of our efforts, governments around the world spend billions upon billions of dollars on such programs and initiatives to care for those in need.  We are making an impact!

Charity: If you say so.  I hardly notice a difference.  I'm still up to my eyeballs helping those in need.

Justice: Um...er...well, perhaps so, but we ARE getting governments' attention.

Charity: I believe you, but I am pointing out one small item and that is despite the increased spending and attention you are getting, you haven't stopped the need.

Justice: But we are trying.

Charity: I understand that, but it hasn't convinced me to stop and join you.

Justice: Why?

Charity: Who's going to care for these folks while you are on your quest to eradicate poverty?

Justice: Um....

Charity: Who is going to make sure these people have food, water, and health care in my absence?

Justice: Um....Well...Uh...You'll just have to remember we're going after the greater good.  We're working to eradicate this.

Charity: I understand, and I am truly grateful.  Would that we could change the world so drastically that people never go hungry, never go thirsty, have health care, and clothing and shelter.  Would that this could be brought about by our own efforts.

Justice: You don't believe it can?  You don't believe it is in our power to accomplish such a task?

Charity: Do you ever study history?  Have you ever seen a nation where poverty doesn't exist?  Have you ever seen a nation where greed doesn't rear its ugly head and people take what they do not need?  Sure, there have been some places where the poor are better off than others, but never has there existed a state where I am not needed.

Justice: But we can change that!  I know we can!

Charity: How?  How will you bring about such perfection?  How will you attain the Kingdom of God here on earth?  Is it in your power to bring it?

Justice: Well, shouldn't we work toward it?

Charity: Of course.  Go on your way, SPEAK to your heart's content to the powers that be.  I'll stay here.  Until you accomplish the perfect nation, I know I will have WORK to DO.  I wish you the very best of luck, Justice.  I don't think I will ever see you completely brought to fruition, but I will hope for your success.

Justice: But you need me!  You need me to do what I do!

Charity: Yes, I do, and I am grateful.  I wish you the best that faith can give you and the power to speak truth.  Perhaps it will make a difference in the long term.  I can only hope.

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