Wednesday, November 18, 2015
I Am Not Your Enemy
I am a man, a very weak man, who draws his strength from a God I believe exists.
I am a husband, a son, a brother, a friend to far too few and a stranger to far too many.
I have placed my feet on different continents, flew over oceans, and stood in awe before the holiest of places in my religious tradition.
I have been raised with stories of truly horrific, genocidal evil done to my family, I have seen the stories of terrifying violence in the various towns and cities in which I have lived, and I have seen the fear in the eyes of people who have come to me pleading for help to escape their demons.
I am a humble servant of a greater God, trying as much as I humanly can to undo the damage being done by devils like addiction, fundamentalism, greed, and apathy. I make the world better where I can, fail often even at that, and go to sleep at night knowing that tomorrow gives me another chance to do better than I have done before.
So why must you try to end those tomorrows for others, others in Paris and in Garissa and in Beirut, others who no more want to be your enemy than I do, who no more want to see your violence than I do I am not your enemy.
I am not your enemy. I am virtually unarmed. I only have one tool to wield against you.
That tool is the promise of the empty tomb of my Messiah, whom your tradition reveres as a prophet in a great line of prophets, who conquered death at the hands of men who saw Him as an enemy.
That promise of the empty tomb is the promise of life, of resurrection, of a return from the grave by the very hand of God whose name you profane, and keep profaning, with your murder and your wickedness.
Your faith is a faith of death, and for that reason alone, you will lose out. Maybe not in this world, but most certainly in the next.
How petrifying it must be for you to account of yourselves now before God for the death that you have brought upon us who are not your enemies. I pity you for that. I really do. I know God as a source of life. You know God only as a source of death and damnation.
How awful it must be to account of yourselves, then, before a God who reveres life above all else. You who would destroy life, you who have taken life, you who would dare to put yourselves in place of God upon the throne and determine by your own actions who will live and who will die, how hollow your existence must be.
I will be praying for you.
Because, my Messiah commands me to. Because my sacred texts command me to. Because my faith commands me to.
And because in the end, I am not your enemy. You are your own enemy.
Even though you think me yours.
Longview & Vancouver, Washington
November 18, 2015
Image courtesy of mypetjawa.