Singing Hope and Love into the Darkness: "Edge of a Hurricane"
“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.” (Matthew 5:39, The Bible, NIV)
Yeah, right. Even as a rather dreamy-eyed child I thought this Bible verse was pretty absurd. Everyone knows how the world works: strong people get what they want; people who seem weak or powerless get taken advantage of (or worse). You can’t let a bully get away with hitting you; you have to hit them back. And I do think there are plenty of circumstances where fighting back is the right choice. I don’t think even the greatest of our teachers about nonviolence would have advocated for nonviolence in all circumstances.
But there have been times when humans have faced unspeakable evil and the most effective deterrent was nonviolence. By refusing to return violence or hatred, the evil was exposed for what it was. And things changed. Sometimes shame forces change. Sometimes it’s the loss of an enemy to rail against. Sometimes it’s finally breaking the cycle of violence, hate and retribution.
At some level we all know that you can’t get love if you don’t give it. You reap what you sow. If violence, pride, anger, and hatred is what you bring to the world, then that is what will be returned to you. But it’s a hard thing to remember when facing down someone or something that threatens to obliterate everything you hold dear. I wrote this song to remind myself—and others—that if we want peace in our lives, we must find a way to bring more and hope and love into the world through our actions and the people we encounter every day. I can’t quite bring myself to echo the “turn the other cheek” exhortation, but I can try to love more, and hate and fear less. So here’s my little contribution: I wish you peace. I wish you hope. I wish you love. Pass it on….