For those who know me, they know that I’m high on the justice scale. Righteous anger swells up in me when I face wicked, injurious acts; especially those perpetuated against young children who are without defense or champion. In such instances, I am not afraid to confront and rebuke. And I don’t shy away from ‘telling it like it is.’

Sometimes this has brought me criticism. Some would say that more grace needed to be extended, either in response to a specific act or the subsequent account of it. But I disagree. I believe that if we try to appear gracious and show ‘loving’ tolerance for something that is clearly an affront and abomination to God, we are merely extending fleshly grace instead of heavenly grace. Quite often, this false human grace can be the greatest enemy of true divine grace.

We are not called to be silent and tolerant. We are not asked to beautify and water down the nitty-gritty horror of this world for easier public consumption. The reality is that we live in a world where the mortally-wounded Satan is thrashing about in a death-throe frenzy of sinister acts and atrocities. To fight it is to label it, challenge it and crush it…in full view. We are to speak about it, yell about it, and anger at it…with full volume and clarity.

I’m currently reading Terrify No More, a book principally written by the President of International Justice Mission, Gary Haugen. It details the undercover mission to free underage girls from forced prostitution ("rape for profit") in Cambodia.

In the introduction Gary eloquently writes:

"Some of the stories in this book may be more graphic than what you are used to, but I am convinced that any serious contest with evil requires a painful confrontation with the truth. The greatest and most shameful regrets of history are always about the truth we failed to tell, the evil we failed to name. The greatest enemy in our struggle to stop oppression and injustice is always the insidious etiquette of silence."

"And so, I ask you to stick with us through the discomfort caused by some of the subject matter. For in the pain, there is promise; in the hurting, there is hope. And our God is the God of justice, who does not turn a deaf ear to the cries of the oppressed. He alone empowers us as we confront the dark world of injustice and experience the joy of rescue, relief, and grace given to those who are suffering. We join him in the rescues we work so hard to obtain, so ‘that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.’ (Psalm 10:18, NIV)."

I have a few stories I’d like to share with you, starting with some journal entries from recent trips to Southeast Asia, including Cambodia. They are graphic and upsetting. But they are the reality of the evil we face. We must understand it to engage and smash it.

Stay tuned…

"Seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow." (Isaiah 1:17, NRSV)