Something Big and Horrible has happened in our small community. Really Big and extremely Horrible. A member of the church has broken into the home of another (ex)member of the church, less than a block from the church building. Lots of high emotion, lots of hurt and pain. People lashing out and hurting other people – emails sent, gossip circles are going, phone-lines busy. People pushed to the limits, people arrested. However, this is all happening just under the surface – most of the people in the congregation are not and will not be aware of all this.
It all started a long time ago, with one man’s addiction to gambling – or even before that. One sin leading to another, a man embezzling his own children’s college fund, a man leaving his wife. A wife turning to another (married) man for comfort. Car accidents, death, cancer. People becoming embittered. Unfounded accusations, betrayals, anger. This last chapter is just a continuation of the story. Reconciliations have been attempted, but failed. Attempts to fill gaps with words have failed. People hanging onto hurt feelings instead of reaching out to each other. People striking out with violence instead of healing. In their very actions and word, destroying the integrity and dignity of the Body of Christ. Violence occurs when words fail – or when we deny the power of the Word. I long for reconciliation.
In the Greek, the work reconciliation mean to change places with the other, so much so that you will walk in their shoes, you will laugh their laughter, weep their tears, hold their dreams and feel their joy. But the cost of reconciliation is great. The story moves from hope to despair and back again.
Yes, violence is failed words. When words fail to bring reconciliation, when words and dialogue fail, violence is inevitable. And we pick up stones to throw at one another. We have to look forward to the resurrection that will come after the crucifixion. The day of resurrection will come and the heavy stones will be rolled away.
Looking for a piece of Peace today.
note: I now wish I could be more anonymous -- I have to obfuscate the names and actions of the people, in order to protect myself and the innocent.