Thursday, July 28, 2011


So I know that redemption isn't mine to give, achieve, etc.  And I know that reconciliation isn't something that can be forced.  And I am aware that my every impulse is to minister to and protect survivors of trafficking.  But just a question I'd like wiser minds than mine to mull over ... when is it our responsibility to minister to perpetrators of these crimes?  I absolutely believe that people convicted of trafficking in the lives of others need to be punished for it.  But.. then what?

A purely punitive justice system doesn't leave much room for the Holy Spirit (or whatever Divine Other one chooses to name), for redemption, for reclamation of humanity.  Some people will always be angry, violent, and cruel, whatever happens.   But others are reacting to a brokenness that was caused by circumstances beyond their control, or are living out the consequences of terrible choices in earlier days.  This in no way excuses their behavior or serves to justify it.  But it does beg the question.. how can we, as a faith community, help address the larger broken systems?  How can we most effectively live out our faith in the lives of those who suffer, and those who cause suffering to others?  How does this re-framing of justice potentially impact the way we minister and live in practical, day-to-day ways?  In short, where is God in in justice on this scale?


1 comment:

  1. Perhaps it is not punishment but justice that is needed. Hold people accountable for their crimes but provide possibilities for renewal and healing in their lives, too. Not sure how to do this, because sometimes justice requires a person be kept away from the rest of society so that person can't hurt anyone else. But even in the midst of that there can be forgiveness. Sometimes we just have to turn a person over to God and pray that God will find a way into that person's soul.

    You've raised a good question - let me know when you find the answer!

    Bless you for your ministry.
    Love and miss you!