I had a friend start law school this week. In fact, he is a student at my alma mater George Mason. Soon he will learn the legal definition of “standing” if he doesn’t know it already, which he probably does because he’s a pretty smart guy. But anyway the general concept is this: in order to bring a lawsuit, you need to be the one aggrieved. There’s no vicarious suing. Even when class action suits are brought, you have to round up the real people who were harmed.
I’ve been thinking this week about standing more generally. I don’t have standing to weigh in on race relations because I’ve not been aggrieved. On the other hand, Will and I have given to organizations that specifically aim to address the imbalance of privilege. I’d be curious to know how many of the vast number of opinions I’ve read and heard over the last week have been coupled with investment of time or money. Talk may be better than silence, but talk is still cheap. Do something. Here are two organizations Will and I believe are making a difference: Hope for the Inner City and By the Hand. Chattanooga and Chicago may not be areas that you want to invest in. Find something local. Spend some time researching and find out who is doing the best work. 1 John 3:18 says: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” Praying that I will more fully live out this important truth and that all followers of Christ will love with actions and in truth.
But there’s another aspect of standing and this is the best news ever. Guess who has standing to go before the One True King? I do. I am a sinner. I can’t go more than a few minutes without messing up. But the Creator of the Universe loves me with an unquenchable love. I did not earn this standing. I have neither been aggrieved, nor have I given to His work and therefore secured such right. No, Jesus paid the price for all my sins and invites me into His presence. The terrible thing is that sometimes He stands at the door and knocks and I fail to answer. Praying tonight that I will answer, that the United States will answer, that the world will answer, and that YOU will answer.