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 may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies 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.
Hate multiplies hate,
violence multiplies violence,
and toughness multiplies toughness
in a descending spiral of destruction….
The chain reaction of evil —
hate begetting hate,
wars producing more wars —
must be broken,
or we shall be plunged
into the dark abyss of annihilation.
~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from Strength to Love
The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places.
But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now
mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.
— J. R. R. Tolkien
We forget that God is right there, waiting for us to turn to him, no matter how dire our situation. We forget the reassuring words of his messengers: “Fear not.” God always seeks to draw close to us — even in the depths of hell.
…it comes down to this: the only way to truly overcome our fear of death is to live life in such a way that its meaning cannot be taken away by death. It means fighting the impulse to live for ourselves, instead of for others. It means choosing generosity over greed. It also means living humbly, rather than seeking influence and power. Finally, it means being ready to die again and again — to ourselves, and to every self-serving opinion or agenda.
~Johann Christoph Arnold
This week, bullets have been fired out of fear and anger by, and have struck down, people who look and are just like us. Shed tears never need translation or interpretation, no matter what color cheeks they moisten.
Distrust and fear continue to impact our communities daily, settling like a shroud over the most routine activities. So we must fall back on what we were told long ago and each and every day in 365 different verses in the Word itself: fear not.
Do not be overwhelmed with evil but overcome evil with good.
The goal of this life is to live for others, to live in such a way that death cannot erase the meaning and significance of a life. We are called to give up our selfish agendas in order to consider the dignity of others and their greater good.
Cherish life, all lives, including, as is crystal clear from Christ’s example, those who are so fearful, they hate and want to murder us.
Our only defense against evil is God’s offense; only He will lead us to Tolkien’s “where everything sad will come untrue”, where tears are no longer shed in sorrow, but can only be tears of joy.