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The Heart Beat of Justice

Do you hear the drumbeat
The pulse, deep and resonant
Beneath all, speaking justice,
Justice, justice will be done;
Like the soundtrack to each day,
The tempo that demands we walk
To His justice, justice, justice.

It beats not only to thieves sentenced and tyrants dethroned,
But to frogs in the cupboards and dead sons in mothers' arms.
Not only to nature's laws and oceans' currents,
But to the mind impaired and the screech of tires.

"By this you shall know that I am the Lord,"
By the vomit on the floor and the water shut off,
By the baby malformed and the cancer consuming.

To the one who chose his own instead of God's:
Justice, justice, justice.
To the twisted will that cannot bend:
Justice, justice, justice.

"I, the Lord, will give judgement:
The crash after the fall
The blindness without the light
The pain that follows the curse.
What is sown must be reaped—
All fruits of egocentricity—
Lest the sky be torn in two
And the mountains crumble."

Do you hear the rhythm behind the pain,
Never ending, never relenting,
The deep drum marching us to perdition
Demanding justice, justice, justice?
Not only a prompt consequence
But an impending punishment
Without which the scales shan't balance.

We chose our own way,
So He will give it.
He will deal the death blow,
Indeed He has,
Suffering the apology
We couldn't contrive
Unable to walk to justice, justice, justice.

Now the drum beat behind these pains
Reminds us—who shelter beneath His son—
To draw neigh again and again
To Him who will bring us through
To where the beat will be glorious
As it sets the tempo to an everlasting song.

"What does it matter if I suffer injustice? Would I not have deserved worse punishment from God, if He had not dealt with me according to His mercy? Is not justice done to me a thousand times even in injustice?" (Bonhoeffer, 95)

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Life Together. Translated by John W. Doberstein. New York: HarperCollins, 1954.


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