My wife has always been an animal lover. She is sad whenever an animal is hurt, even in a movie where it isn’t actually happening. She’s been an avid devotee of the show Whale Wars and I’ve had such a hard time watching that show. Not because it is hard to see what is happening to the whales, but because of how frustrating it is to watch the team of people trying to help them. It doesn’t seem that they accomplish much, and the show has never stirred me to any great degree.
But last night she watched a 2 hour documentary called “The Cove” where they show how dolphins are slaughtered brutally (and this is where places like SeaWorld get their dolphins from so that they can entertain us). I was hanging some blinds in our living room, but I found myself being sucked into the show. As we watched the heartbreaking footage of dolphins being stabbed repeatedly until the water turns pure red, both Michelle and I were visibly bothered. She began crying and I felt like I needed to throw up. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and that it was allowed to happen. Let me make this clear, I am not an animal activist by any stretch of the imagination. But as I watched, I realized that it had less to do with dolphins and more to do with injustice.
And that’s when I realized that I don’t have much tolerance for injustice, in a bad way. I want to change the channel and watch something more uplifting. But this is what is happening whether I acknowledge it or not. And this is how God sees the world every day. As Michelle and I debriefed the show afterward, she began to cry even more as she thought about this kind of injustice happening to people, happening to little kids and babies who can’t defend themselves any more than those dolphins can. And I realized that injustice pushes us closer to God, because we have to. We have to feel like someone is able to do something about it, and I know God cares. But we often try to do everything possible to avoid seeing it.
I relate with Habakkuk’s complaint in the Bible:
“How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.” (1:2-4)
I encourage you to take the time to watch the documentary that I saw. Sadly, this is one example of many when it comes to injustice in the world today. Are we willing to look injustice in the face and do something about it? Are we willing to allow ourselves to be heartbroken and to plead with God over it? Or will we turn a blind eye because it is more comfortable?