A Gang of Seven

 Pointing the Way

 Premises

 Two Movements

 Three Sacraments

 Facets of Vital Engagement

 Vital Engagement:
            Life Blood of Trust

 Steps Towards Trust

 Missed Steps

 Unseen Options  

 Justice in Relationships

 

Justice Begins at Home 

       Justice in relationships includes what we suffer from the time we are born and before. I suffered as a child. My parents suffered as children. Their parents suffered as children. We were also cared for as children - by our parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts. Witness our ability to survive and thrive, to one or another degree. We are born with a will to justice. The urge for justice is a pulsing stream of human motivation from generation to generation. The demand for justice presses itself upward to the surface of everyday life.

       Marie, an eight year old, fell into a rage a few minutes before Mary, her mother, called me. Mary is frantic. “It’s all my fault,” she cries. “I could have done it differently. I’m edgy about a dozen things. I say ‘No‘ to Marie and she explodes. She runs at me and begins to hit me. It isn’t new. She does it a lot. My husband Frank heard the ruckus this time and ran to my rescue. Flailing wildly, Marie struck out at Frank. He threw his arms around her and she fell to the floor. He held her there. Marie panicked. “I’ll see you in court,” I yelled at Frank. “He pushed me out of the way.”

       Marie is pleading in the background. I ask if she will speak to me: “I don’t want my mommy to cry,” she sobs. “I don’t want you to say bad things about my daddy.” We talk softly back and forth. I tell her that her mom will stop crying. I tell her that her dad and I are friends, how much I like him and how we laugh together. Marie relents. “Why are you so worried about your dad?” I ask. “I’m afraid,” she says. “I’m afraid he’ll leave us. He’ll go to court and he’ll go away.” I ask where her dad is now. “Upstairs with my brother,“ she says. “Would you like to go find him?” “Yes,” she whispers and runs off in search.

       An eight year old adds a page to the “book:” The imperative of just consideration. She is literally fighting for justice for herself, her dad, her mom. A river of trust is about to dry up. Marie desperately moves to protect what is hers. Split in two by her parents’ threats, her fear is for herself. It is also about losing her parents and them losing each other.

       A disciplined, accomplished student in 2nd grade, talented in theater, dance and on the basketball court, Marie can be a terror at home, tough on her young brother, striking out at any provocation, and losing control if a parent’s expectations oppose her own. She has almost run out of ways to signal for help.

 

 The Quest for Justice is a Given

Justice Begins at Home

If I Want You to Treat Me Justly...

Know and Be Known