A friend raised the question of how one should (would) respond to a tragedy when thousands of innocent people of many nations died because intent of many people working on evil plots came true. The concern, which I share, quickly went to the potential of even more innocent people suffering because of the response to the first evil. Clearly, an evil act in response to evil choices does not make the equation balanced.
The question remains; one does one do when evil exacts a toll of injustice? Does one always respond in meekness? Is nonviolence the only true answer? Is the scale of destruction part of the equation?
If one takes love, compassion, and grace out of the question then the answer is clear. You take my eye; I take yours. The message is blunt. I will respond and it will be calculated and exact. You live your life; I will live mine. If it is fair for you to act this way it is fair for me as well. My loss will be your loss. Justice lived out; simple, direct, and precise.
My life will not stand up under minute inspection. I doubt anyone I know believes that his or her past life carries a perfect sheet. Given this, I do not want justice; I desperately want mercy! I do not want a precise and calculated response. I need something that looks beyond my actions, choices, and decisions.
God anticipated your failure and mine. He understood then and understands now just how weak we are, where we stand, and what we are capable of doing. He knows we will fail again tomorrow, yet that does not stop His acts of mercy, compassion, and love today.
When I look towards God I find hope in a time where answers are illusive. I know with confidence that “the thinking of principled people makes for justice; the plots of degenerates corrupt.” (Proverbs 12.5) I have God’s own actions in vivid contrast to the world around me to verify this truth.
Our answer? Follow God’s lead, in all things.