As I stood once more in the children’s clothes section in that popular-brand supermarket I felt an all-too-familiar tug. That jumper. So cute. Mustard, navy, sweet designs, from their ‘boys’ range, of course, because, what can I say, dinosaurs are more fun. The tug was there because the list had started in my head - the attempts to persuade myself to stay true to my commitment not to shop here, each persuasion carrying varying strengths...from my concern over my ethically-conscious friends’ opinions to our own monthly budget. Then, the list came to a hard stop where it always does - with the picture I first imagined nearly two years ago, not long after my daughter was born - of tiny, weary, unsafe hands appliqueing the design onto clothes I would later pull over my own small daughter’s head. I put the jumper back.
Was it love that compelled me? Or hatred? Love for that child I imagined, who I’ve never met; or repulsion, hatred and disgust at the robbery of her life, of the wrongdoing which had her in its grip?
“... I hate robbery and wrongdoing.”
I find this such a powerful pause in the passage. Before and after this half-verse stream promises. Promises to the broken - promises of hope, of victory, of freedom. Powerful promises. Yet in this short moment, between the declarations of intent, comes a glimpse of the heart behind them, the root out of which they come.
These are not fickle promises made merely in the moment (as my own commitments to justice so often are), emphatic or driven by guilt, persuasion or fear of others’ opinion. They are not even solely provoked by a great injustice of the moment. They are an overflow of the very character of God. God loves justice. He hates robbery and wrongdoing. He always has, he does, he always will do. It is who he is, and because it’s who he is we can trust and put weight on these promises which flow out of that character. The promises he makes, the actions he takes, will always flow towards justice. So too, then, should ours.
This weekend, why not identify an area of injustice to meditate, pray and act on with God?