I stand on a dirt path in the Philippines.
It has been raining for weeks. The path is muddy and rocky where rivulets of water have washed away the dirt.
Above me a young mama looks out the window.
The frame of an open window.
There is no glass pane on the window frame. Only a shutter woven from bamboo blocked the winds and the rains from the recent typhoon.
The mama looks wistful through the open window beneath the row of laundry hanging on a line.
A young child peeks out beside her.
They both watch the American-born visitors walk into their village.
We are here to host a medical clinic.
My teenage daughter follows behind me.
Our brown eyes looking up meet theirs peeking down from the bamboo nipa hut where they live.
For a moment, I wonder, why are my daughter and I the ones visiting this village. Why am I the one who has glass on my window pane. Who has electricity and running water. Why will my daughter get a good education and opportunity to see the world.
This mother has the same love and dreams for the same good things for her daughter as I do for mine.
Our heritage is the same. Our skin is the same. Our eyes are the same. Our dreams are the same.
But I will have opportunity, and it is very likely she will not.
How is that fair?
How can there be justice in that?
If this verse is true, how can there be righteousness and justice?
The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.
One meaning Hebrew word for justice used here is “…including a participant’s right or privilege.”
Why am I the one who is privileged to live a comfortable life in a beautiful home and she is not?
I wrestle with this dichotomy each time I see this mama during the clinic.
I watch her hold her baby on her hip the way I did. She is so tiny and petite.
She seems shy when I approach her, when our worlds meet for a moment. I want to give her everything I have. I give her my raincoat. I give her all the pesos in my pocket. I want to help. For some reason I am drawn to this tiny little mama. Even as I write this I wonder how she is doing in the small Ati Village in the Philippines, so far away.
Everything about her life is so far from mine. Except that we are of the same Filipino blood.
If the Lord loves righteousness and justice, and if the earth is full of unfailing love, I suppose Love is all I can demonstrate to her, for this time, for that moment.
I wonder if she would remember me as I remember her three years later.
Why does that moment have such an effect on me.
I suppose it was only a glimpse of the way God offers mercy and compassion to us, to experience such a moment.
I suppose these moments are an urging for us to continually search for ways we can demonstrate justice and mercy to one God places around us.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice……
Do we look for ways to offer justice the way He does. He loves justice. The word love here is affection….God’s love toward man.
If we love justice as God does…..will we demonstrate God’s love toward man in the same way as he does?