Though it's been around 10 years ago I remember it like it was yesterday. We had a leak in the water line running from Hwy 411 to our building. A deacon called a plumbing company to come fix the leak. This company came out, did some work, eventually found and repaired the leak, and charged us $7500 for their work. Of course, we were shocked at this outrageous price. We questioned the legitimacy of such a thing but were told they had to dig, not one, but two holes to find the leak and that other companies didn't have the equipment they had. So what was the high tech equipment used to dig these holes? ... shovels! They also reminded us that there were some rocks in these holes that made it harder to dig ... bless their hearts! I remember speaking to the owner on the phone and voicing our complaint, only for him to be very, very dismissive and say he didn't care a bit to whom we reported him and his company. As we shared this with others we heard stories about this same company cheating and overcharging others around town. The company being discussed here - Plumbing 911.
Yesterday I saw in the news that "Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Michael Graffeo ordered Plumbing 911 to permanently cease all plumbing and gas services by Oct 31" and the owner was "ordered to surrender his state license and never again work in the plumbing and gas industry in Alabama." (AL.com) The Attorney General's complaint against Plumbing 911 includes charges of targeting and cheating Senior Citizens, deceptive pricing, doing work without required permits or licenses, doing unnecessary work on customer's homes, doing substandard work, and damaging homes and leaving the homes in dangerous conditions. So all who've been cheated and abused by this company can now find some solace in the fact that justice has been served.
As Christians we often cry out to God, asking why there is no justice. The Psalms are full of such cries - Psalm 17, 40, 69, 73, 80, 94, and many others contain pleas for justice. Not long ago we studied Habakkuk and examined his cry for justice. In many ways the Protestant Reformation was a cry for justice as Luther and others saw many abusive practices in the church. The Civil Rights movement in America dealt with matters of justice. The current persecution of believers around the world concerns justice. Justice is a theme for which people of all times and places desire.
As Christians we know that justice will be served, that one day when Jesus returns all things will be made right, no longer will the poor and weak be oppressed, things will be the way they should be. In His grace, God gives us an occasional glimpse of this justice - the case of Plumbing 911 being such an example. Being a just God, we know for certain that justice must and will be served. God doesn't just do justice ... He is just. Everything He's ever done, is doing, and will do is entirely just. Being a just God, we know for certain that justice must and will be served.
While justice sounds great, it's a scary thing when I realize I'm probably worse than Plumbing 911 ever thought about being. I've lied, cheated, defrauded, oppressed, misrepresented, done substandard work, and much worse. So where's my hope? In the cross of Jesus Christ. Romans 3:23-26 tells us that God executed both His perfect justice and perfect grace to those who trust in the work of Christ at the cross. So while I do smile at the news of Plumbing 911's demise I must both weep and rejoice at the justice/grace of what Jesus did for me at the cross.