Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tiananmen and Justice

Tomorrow Today, Thursday, is the twentieth anniversary of the student protests at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. (Here are a few websites with more information about June 4, 1989: BBC On This Day, Wikipedia, The Economist).

NPR just published an article about three student leaders who survived and what they're doing today (Student Leaders Reflect, 20 Years After Tiananmen).

One works in IT, publishing online: '"We publish [on] different sensitive issues and send millions of e-mails every day into China. Also, we can learn how to transform totalitarian regimes into democratic countries," Shao says.'

One works in the media: '"I couldn't wait to get this technology into China, into universities and TV stations. It's incredibly empowering. The mass media, eventually, is a democratizing, liberalizing force," he says.'

And one is a pastor. '"Democracy is not my job. I am not a revolutionary. My job is to save souls and spread God's gospel, to let the love of Jesus Christ melt the hatred in China," Zhang says.'

Which one is doing the most important work?

Well, I'm going to let you answer that. But this story reminds me how often we forget God's commitment to restoring justice. Read Isaiah 58: "'Why have we fasted,' they say, 'and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?'" (3). 

"Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?"(6)
...
"Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, 'Here I am'" (9).

He may not bring justice the way we think, or in our timing. But that doesn't mean He's forgotten, or lost count, or misplaced His copy of the law.

So as we remember acts of injustice and tragedy and are tempted to get bogged down in politics or the pursuit of justice on earth, let's not forget the real, final Judge whose justice, unlike ours, is perfect.

1 comment:

Jennifer Nevarr said...

Excellent post. Thanks Leigh. I can't believe it's been 20 years. That was the year I graduated from high school. scary.