This could be applied to about anything, but today it comes about because I've been thinking about the problem of violence (again) the last couple days due to a conversation over on The God Journey Forum. One of the things that seems to always come up with difficult issues like this is people always bring up hypothetical questions of what they would do if such and such was to happen. This morning something seemed to become clearer to me as I thought about why the Christian community remains so supportive of war and the use of violence and why we as individuals remain so confused about the things Jesus said about loving others...even our enemies. Hypotheticals are a form of future tripping and Jesus doesn't exist in those imagined futures. So we are left all alone there with our fear, and then all that makes sense is self-preservation. The hound of heaven just doesn't seem to let me off that easily anymore. And what I mean by that is, his love for me and the love I know he has for every other human being just won't allow me to live in peace while I keep violence as an option, stuffed in my back pocket, ready to use at moments notice. His gentle loving of me and his wooing of my heart and mind into a new space over the past few years has silenced my "YES, BUT". It has taken some time, but back at the beginning of myself feeling challenged in my heart and mind on these things, he did promise me that he could take me there.
Here is where it has left me. I don't know how I would react in a moment of threat to my life or the life of someone I care for. All I can go by is what I know Jesus is speaking to me right now in this moment and that has nothing to do with hypotheticals. And as I learn to stay in the moment with Jesus, I know this very thing...the actions of self giving, of love, of sacrifice, of dying are of Him...violence is not and never will be.