No more hurting people. Peace
Martin Richard wrote these words for a school project many months ago. And almost immediately after the young boy's death at the Boston Marathon, his words went viral on social media, as a sort of collective plea for a world free of violence. A noble desire, but one that will continue to go unfulfilled. Why? Because we are not willing to do what it takes to make such words and hopes into reality.
But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
These are words we do not want to hear, especially right now. Love those who made bombs to maim and kill? Show them mercy and compassion? Bless them and pray for them? Yes, that is what we are called to do, for it is the only remedy that will work.
"Our brother calls us to love, love God, love your neighbor, love. How hard is that? What are you afraid of? If he was willing to die to love you, what’s your excuse for not loving those you fail to understand, those you despise, those you hate?"
I shared similar thoughts after Aurora and Newtown. I will do so again after the next community suffers from our love of violence, and the one after that, and so on. I am under no illusion that anyone will actually listen; we've ignored Jesus for two thousand years after all. But truth is truth, whether we want to hear it or not.
Yes, love is stronger than hate, and good will triumph over evil in the end. Many of us have spoken of these truths since Monday. But they are not magic talismans to ward off the bogeyman. Jesus had to die, brutally, before the Easter we are in the midst of celebrating could happen. Living that Truth requires a whole other vantage point.
"From your perspective, you see love and hate, good and evil, right and wrong. I see what is and what will be, and what I see is love and good, always."
Are we willing to embrace that kind of love and good? Are we willing to go wherever they demand we go? Even if that means loving those who killed Martin Richard?