Love. Ridiculousness. Beauty.

I told you all a few weeks ago about my friend being attacked, beaten, and sexually assaulted.  I am not going to pretend to know what she’s going through… there’s no way in the world I could.  And honestly talking about how this is effecting me sounds like such a self centered bullshit thing to do.  It didn’t happen to me… it happened to her.  And yes, it’s effecting all of us but something seems so incredibly wrong about going on about how this makes me feel.  Forgive me for indulging in such lunacies nonetheless.

We (myself, my friend, and the rest of our small community) belong to a religious tradition that believes not only in pacifism and non violence but also that returning love for hatred is the only way.  Those are all wonderful things to talk about abstractly and to believe when you have nothing on the line, it’s something else entirely when you’re face to face with that hatred.

Obviously this tragedy is making everyone re-evaluate those beliefs, it would be dishonest to claim otherwise.  We’re being forced to examine why we believe what we believe and whether or not those beliefs are realistic.

But here’s the thing.  Love isn’t realistic.  And love in the face of violence and hatred is downright insane.

It is ridiculous.

It makes no sense.

And maybe that’s the point.  Maybe that’s what makes it so beautiful.  Maybe the beauty of loving even when it’s so unbelievably hard is that you have no choice but to rely on God.  Standing up to pure evil (and what this guy did to her was nothing if not pure evil) and refusing to fall into the trap of returning the hate, returning the violence… refusing to keep that cycle of evil going gives you no choice but to throw up your hands and say “God, you make no sense and I’m following you anyway.”

(Or maybe it’s not.  Maybe it’s just a terrible idea.  I could always be wrong.)

I won’t stand here and say I know everything (or that I know anything for that matter).  I can’t say that I understand what happened or that I know that it’s because of some divine plan, or even that there is some divine plan.  I don’t know much of anything to be honest.

(Maybe there’s beauty in that too?)

And I won’t say that I love the guy who did this… because right now I don’t.  Right now all I can do is try my hardest not to hate him.  But I do hope one day I can come around, I hope we all can.  Because if I can’t believe that love wins then I’m not sure if I can believe in anything at all.


3 thoughts on “Love. Ridiculousness. Beauty.

  1. Erin says:

    It does make sense, because that’s how God works. We have sinful natures. We are pretty ugly deep down. But God has this ridiculous love for us that makes absolutely no sense. So, loving people who are difficult to love is logical for us to try to do, because that’s God’s way of doing things. It’s just really, really hard in situations like this.

  2. Erin says:

    P.S. I think it’s totally okay for you to use this venue to talk about how it makes you feel. Now, if your friend (who went through all this) was trying to talk to you, and all you wanted to do was tell her how you felt about it- that would be another story. 🙂

  3. First off, I should probably let you know that I’m an atheist. Now, with that out of the way, I wanted to add this–it doesn’t seem like you should have to LOVE the man who did terrible, terrible things to your friend. It doesn’t even seem like you should have to try to. From the vague notion I have of god, I’m pretty sure he/she/it wouldn’t expect that of you now or anytime soon or possibly ever. Maybe there’s another way to factor the love in–like loving his essence as a human being–i.e. not wanting him killed in retaliation–just locked up nice and tight until he’s too old (or dead of natural causes) to harm anyone. And this is a little weird, but sometimes I find myself thinking about terrible people (like, say, Hitler) as tiny infants. Like, was baby Hitler an asshole? I doubt it. So maybe if you HAVE to love this wreck of a human, you could try imagining him as a baby? (Not a toddler, though–we all know that all toddlers can be pretty damn mean sometimes.)

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