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A gospel of justice

There is a little, 85-year-old woman who lives next door to us. She survives on social security. She makes less than $1000 a month to support herself. She is widowed, and has only one surviving neice that lives in town and actually comes to check on her. She has a hard time getting around, and cannot even get her own groceries.

Now, there is a guy across the street who had convinced her that she had a leak in her roof, and it needed to be repaired - for $600! He *graciously* agreed to do that work, as long as the little old widowed woman would pay him the money up front. She paid him the $600, and in less than 48 hours, though, he had *lost* the money. (It is important to note that he is a suspected drug addict and has begun recently to deal drugs as well, at least gathering by the incessant traffic of passers-by that come and go from his house.) By the way, we had a professional roofer look at her roof later - surprise, surprise, no sign of a leak.

The police cannot do anything. There is not a possibility of recourse through small claims court. She has nowhere to turn. Her money has been taken and there is nothing she, as an elderly widow, can do about it.

Now, here's the question:

What does justice look like in that situation? What does the gospel look like in that situation? What does true religion look like in that situation?

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..." James 1:27

I will blog later about how we responded. More to come...

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