There are days when I am convinced the bad guys are going to win. To be clear on the meaning of bad – it is everything driven by an individual’s need to have something at the expense of others. Call it selfishness, greed, a lack of integrity, or evil, whatever name you want bad to go by. Experience reminds me that human being’s give it shape by the need of one at the expense of others.
I look at the models around me and see bad being met with more bad. While I still struggle to find the consistent answer, I am convinced that evil is never the answer to evil. Buddha had a good point – the only answer to bad is to fill the presence with good. One cannot purge one’s self of evil, a void or vacuum does not work. We will fill it with something but what? Buddha’s answer suggested that one fills one life with good and in turn this pushes the bad out.
Jesus reinforced the same point. In his acceptance of others exactly where they were, he refused to let them stay in a cesspool of their own making. He responded to bad by offering an experience of community and belonging. In compassion we find our purpose. In mercy we find hope. In love we find our belonging and family.
In the midst of an attack I find myself repeating David’s words; “Be good to me, God – and now! I’ve run to you for dear life. I’m hiding out under your wings until the hurricane blows over.” (Psalm 57.1) In the quietness of compassion and mercy, I wrestle with the question of next. Will I turn to evil or turn to community, compassion, and mercy? As easy as it might sound, it is rarely as easy.
I find myself circling back the voices of wisdom I cannot forget – “Be courageous. There are others willing to help. Stay true; trust in the power of hope and love. In every action, be focused on truth. Give Divinity room to be present.”