Violence

When violence enters our lives we are touched by something much bigger than ourselves and we start to worry about controlling it.  In the wake of the bombings during the Boston Marathon I pray for all those whose lives have been touched by this violence that they may find true healing.  I wrote about healing yesterday, it is more than relevant again today. 

Just four Sundays ago we read the Passion gospel of Jesus arrest and execution.  Many of the disciples wanted to respond to that violence with violence.  Jesus kept telling them that this was not the way forward.  Violence does nothing more than create more violence.  Jesus death and resurrection are the result of a true look at God's love. 

I was in an abusive relationship for 10 years before I finally escaped and got out.  One of the things I remember most during my time of recovery from that is finding forgiveness for the one who perpetrated the violence on me.  I realized, very slowly that in keeping and holding onto my anger from this I was turning into someone just like the perpetrator.  I could not see the beauty before me, I could not enjoy my life fully by trying to protect it, and I couldn't live fully until I had let it go.  This does not mean a kind of forgiveness which doesn't recognize my own internal warnings when things are not safe, but it does mean a letting go of all the anger held toward that person.  This is the love of God working in me to do this because I cannot let it go under my own steam and will. 

Think of the apostles in prison in Acts because of all the witnessing, preaching, healing, and spreading of the gospel they do.  The do not act in ways of violence against this instead they sing, pray, and wait on God to eventually free them from the people who imprison and beat them.  Even baptizing one jailors whole family.  This is letting go. 

Healing only comes through this.  It is a terrifying thing the survivors of this have lived through, I have no idea what it is to survive this kind of violence.  I do know healing dwells in the shadows of the fear and anger and whether people let this overshadow their lives or let it go into the healing love of God.  My prayer is for the healing balm found in all peoples prayers, observances, and symbols so that they may have life again.