lent found me meditating a bit on non-violence and the upside-down Kingdom of God. the story of Jesus' arrest in the garden haunted me in a way it hadn't in previous readings.
the disciples, unwilling to watch and pray with their troubled friend, are willing to fight the armed crowd that arrives later to take Jesus by force. Jesus rebukes his followers for raising their swords and submits to arrest--and ultimately the cross.
although they may have been willing to fight to the death, none wish to follow Jesus down the path he is obedient to walk. every last disciple flees, willing to do for Jesus the things he does not ask but none of those he does.
in a moment of honesty, i realized that i too was running in the opposite direction: clinging to violence in my words, choosing anger and impatience over kindness and self control.
there's a better Love to model for my kids. a way of peace that isn't enforced but lived-in-flesh.
my grief was not a cry for war that day in september nearly ten years ago, and an enemy killed sunday brings no cheer.
my sister reminded me of dr. king's words:
The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie,
nor establish the truth.
Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate....
Returning violence for violence multiples violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
our Good Friday world is a broken, hurting place, but we are an Easter people.
i want my children to know that night only seems to be devoid of stars for a time, beneath the clouds of our limited perspective. the grave could not keep Christ, and God's Kingdom will come, on earth as it is in heaven. it's here even now, if we have eyes to see (and hands willing to work to bring it forth.)
there is a crack, a crack in everything : that's how the light gets in.