Nonviolence isn’t enough

Rachel Held Evans posted a beautiful blog today about how hard nonviolence is, and quoted Shane Claiborne:

When we talk about peacemaking and the ?third way of Jesus,? people inevitably ask bizarre situational questions like, ?If someone broke into your house and was raping your grandmother, what would you do??

The thing is, I don’t hear the Source of Love calling me to adopt a non-violent strategy for getting by in the world. The call I hear is way simpler, and, in some ways, harder. It’s a call to drop my agenda, to surrender, all the way, to love.

I don’t get to decide whether to get in an airplane and fire a missile intended to destroy people and property in Libya. I don’t get to decide whether to walk with my family to the town square in Benghazi to protest. I don’t get to decide what anybody else should do, only what I will do. And what I will do, when and as I can, is to love.

Sometimes, that love involves action, and sometimes it involves sitting with pain, tears streaming down my face. Sometimes it involves getting in the way of someone who would cause harm, and sometimes it involves not getting in the way. I’m never sure I have found the most loving path. But once each moment passes, I find myself in a new moment, with a new opportunity to love.

4 thoughts on “Nonviolence isn’t enough

  1. Angela,

    I am not a strong advocate of religiosity, or other forms of institutionalized perspective (though I do embrace the inclinations instilled and continued preservation of a majority of values expressed well).

    Yours, this blog and I am imagining heartfelt discussion continuing from your well-spring of wisdom out into your community discussions, is indeed precious because of its exercise of ‘freedom’ confidently lent as this democratic republic would have an exercise of rights be enjoyed by the ‘electorate’ – individuals such as you.

    I must contribute that finding my way to your blog this morning (7:51 PST) is one of those time warp benefits accommodated by the Internet . . . I was reading your comments from 2006 in a link I followed to ‘Charitable spending habits’ (my term) initiated as a topic by (March 29, 2011).

    I am glad to have found your thoughts (as well as the comments by others posted / Pro, & Con) . . .

    Keep up your excellent work . . .

  2. Angela,

    Back again – (So soon?) . . .

    Unintentionally I followed a link on your site (Long for the immensity) . . . my comment: I am in process of formation of a company at this moment . . . your introductory reflection and then the contribution of the St. Exupery quotation are to be newly adopted as our ‘motto’ for (at least internal) work ethic in these days of foundation effort.

    I am quite taken by your attitude (and Altitude) . . . thank you, Angela . . . I will ascribe your having been the source of the quote when passing the wisdom on to our teams . . . must get on into the day’s offer of accomplishments awaiting. I’ll check back again. (more probably w/out comment I will hope)

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