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.