Sunday, 20 April 2014

SAWBONNA: SOPHIA, C.S. LEWIS, & RE-SPEAKING THE JUSTICE SYSTEM

This Easter Sunday Sawbonna Blog is Dedicated to Theodore Van Sluytman, my Dad, Bridget Rose, my Mom, Glen Flett & Sherry Edmunds-Flett, Gerry Ayotte, Marjean Fitchenberg, and each of you who continue to engage in justice as a lived and living experience.
Who continue to invite the beauty that is Sawbonna's Seeing. Sawbonna's Re-Speaking of Justice.
On Easter Monday, March 27, 1978, my Dad and Glen "met."
That meeting continues to speak.
And Speak.

Sophia means wisdom. C.S. Lewis birthed wisdom in his book, The Four Loves. He writes about: storge/affection; philia/friendship; eros/romance; and, agape/unconditional love. On Wednesday night at Dalhousie University's School of Law, I listened to wisdom in the form of dialogue about agape. Professor Elizabeth Hughes gave a concise and effective mini law class about the Youth Criminal Justice System. One thing she said stood out for me, and  filled me with joy (a la C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy). She said that our legal structure and our laws rest upon a specific system, and that even the most honourable intentions with regard to interacting with the legal system, are bound by the rules of that system. She noted that the system, the foundation if you will, upon which those rules sit, needs to change, shift, and grow, if we wish to have a justice system that reflects our values. Much of the enriching, interactive conversation in that mini law class touched on justice as a lived and living experience. Much of the conversation bespoke Sawbonna's re-speaking of the justice system, contoured in Restorative Justice's beauty.  Listening to and partaking in the conversations, I was struck by the significance of re-speaking, re-sculpting our justice system upon a foundation in which agape is at its centre. Why do I feel this? I feel this because though the head, the intellect of justice is important, the heart of justice is equally as important. Victims, offenders, each of us in society, with whatever label is assigned to us, or whatever label we choose, knows the bitter pill of loss, grief, anguish, horror, and ache. Each of us, in one way or another, has caused these things to our very selves and to others. AND, we know, in equal measure, joy, surrender, delight, beauty, possibility, passion, love, and hope. Agape speaks hope. Agape speaks hope by reminding each of us that we are no better or worse than another, merely that we each have our own particular walk to walk, role to play, in which my kin William reminds us that, "All the world's a stage, and we are merely players." And play we do. And re-writing the scripts, re-speaking the values upon which we rest our justice system, Sawbonna-ing each other in the vast and liberating landscape that is wisdom, that is agape, reflects that we are all part of the process of gestating and birthing over and over and over again, justness. Resurrecting new language, re-sculpting vaster values, always aware that Sophia is ever-present. As is Sawbonna.

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