Ferdinand, who chose the Better Way
Wherever I turn for heroes these days, I am confronted with glock-wielding, explosion-happy, blood-curdling violence. Why do we admire those who create more fear and promote a Might is Right dogma? The violent way is the easy way. The hard way, the narrow path Jesus encouraged us to take, is always the way that leads to peace and to love of those around us.
In His life on earth, Jesus told the story of a Samaritan who helped a Jew. They should have been natural enemies, but the 'enemy' was treated with kindness and respect. I don't know what others take from that parable, but I take a way of behaving that would always promote a heroic action of love in dealing with our fellow men, no matter who they are or in what situation we find them.
My Jesus is a pacifist. When those who would (and ultimately, did) do Him harm came to take him with force and violence, He reacted peacefully, even taking a sword from Peter, who wanted to react in the more common human way. Being the commander of an army of angels, He did not call on them to defend and protect Him, though He could have done so. Can you even imagine Jesus pulling a handgun from the folds of His robe in the Garden of Gethsemane, and saying, "Make my day!"?
So why, when we look for heroes, do we look to those who can carry the biggest weapons and blow the biggest holes in their enemies? Why do we not turn for our heroes to those who refused to return violence for the mistreatment they received? Why do we not lift up those who knew what Jesus meant when He said to 'turn the other cheek,' or to "love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you"? Why do those who can get so up in arms about abortion (which is something to get up in arms about) not get upset when those children are born, and raised in violence, and sent off to war to kill and be killed?
We need some heroes who will lead us and our children in the ways of peace. If we cannot learn to overlook our disagreements and differences, both in this country and in the world, and live with each other reacting and acting in loving and peaceful ways, we cannot help but continue on the path we are on; one that will lead to a world none of us wish to see.
"Every war is both won and lost, and that loss is a pure high note of anguish, like a mother singing to an empty bed. No kind of bomb ever built will extinguish hatred." Barbara Kingsolver
Need a Hero? Go here to see who these are...
Note: I just looked back and see that many of my past posts are about peace. I don't think I will apologize for that, but I do have my reasons. I am still weaving the Peace tapestry commission. And also, I truly am concerned when all of the 'heroes' I see promoted, even in church situations, are those who have embraced violence in some way. How can I keep from begging us all to rethink our own actions and even whom we memorialize?
All we need is Love...... Love does not do harm to those around it.