resistance that transforms

660px-claude_mellan_-_face_of_christ_-_wga14764_28original29
Face of Christ by Claude Mellan, via Wikimedia Commons

Jesus, you tell us to ‘turn the other cheek’
   and we hope it’s hyperbole
   or intended for another time or place.
But your actions inform us otherwise.
You do not ask us to be doormats to the violent
   merely bowing in abject submission,
   but instead to stand with dignity
   looking our oppressors in the eye
   challenging them
   to expose their injustice and inhumanity
   by inflicting another gratuitous blow.
Your kind of resistance transforms
   by initiating the possibility of reconciliation.
Give us wisdom God; this command is hard!
Help us to know when you stand with us
   to turn the other cheek
   and when to flee.

after Michael Pahl, Canadian Mennonite pastor and theologian


______________________

You have heard that it was said,
‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’
But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.
If anyone slaps you on the right cheek,
turn to them the other cheek also.

 

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