Revenge is not so sweet
What is revenge? It is saying, “I’ll pay that man back for what he did!” Have you ever heard anyone say that? There is a strong drive to personally set the scales in balance. That type of phrase is actually in the Bible. Here is that verse:
29 Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did.” (Proverbs 24:29–NIV)
Don’t miss the first three words: Do not say...
So I sat down and read my way through the 12th chapter of this book. Blue and Ginny take the next step and meet an attorney who will begin to put into play the legal cards toward justice. Blue (and us!) was spared recounting the details of his ordeal as the attorney merely read police report. A little language spilled, but it, too, pulled back from the heaviness of last chapter.
After reading I took out my yellow mini-legal pad and began to write and put down my thoughts. Five eighths of the way down that pad I came across the theme for this entry which is a good one. Steel is not wrapping together a plot to give the man his own medicine, to plow his life with revenge. She is dedicated to justice and help for Blue.
When one reads a book there is a thing the author does: they sketch sympathies on the canvas our minds. Does an author make you cheer for an ungodly thing? Steel does not. She does not make you want to go on a Catholic priest hunt. She does not make you long for Blue to destroy that priest. Steel makes you cheer against those who would ignore justice, allow evil to continue. She makes you cheer against Father Teddy, but doing that in a tailor made way is good, reasonable. It is much better than throwing the whole church out with the holy water.1
It is the job of the civil authorities to punish those who harm others. Ginny’s job is to shepherd Blue through tough times to make a difference in the church. Not only in the church but also in the world. Steel does not castigate the church, but urges its purification. Blue is not taught to race out in a get-rich from the church scheme. Ginny provides wisdom and help. We would do well to help those around us who are in need as well.
Ginny swoops down
Ginny swoops down into a storm grabs Blue and will try to fly away with him. What do I mean by that? Ginny aims at a good target: Justice, mentoring, a rescue, a putting Blue on the right track, help, hope, prevention of pain in others lives. This is vastly better than trying to crush a bad priest and suck a monetary reward from a church. One will leave a bad taste. The other will leave a beautiful end.
What about you?
Will you let God take care of your battles? Do you relish vengeance? It is not ungodly to desire that justice be brought. Even in Revelation we see a place where martyrs in heaven struggle with the injustice they suffered. Here is a link to the Sunday school class I taught on that subject. In Revelation 20:4-6 speaks of how those martyrs experienced the first resurrection. They are the ones who ruled with Jesus Christ during the millennium, that thousand year theocracy.
Justice is important, but it is more important for our own peace and God’s glory to allow him to manage it. That does not mean we withhold good from those who need it. To help Blue in this struggle is a good thing. To turn a blind eye to the evil being foisted on others is ungodly. Had Ginny sought to personally wreak justice on Father Teddy then she would have been out of line. Had Steel crafted the book in that manner then it would have been of lesser quality.
Other entries in this series