Confronting Evil

Confronting evil

“When we have been deeply hurt by another person, it is nearly impossible not to have hostile thoughts, feelings of anger or hatred, and even a desire to take revenge. All of this often happens spontaneously, without much inner control. We simply find ourselves brooding about what we are going to say or do to pay back the person who has hurt us. To choose blessings instead of curses in such a situation asks for an enormous leap of faith. It calls for a willingness to go beyond all our urges to get even and to choose a life-giving response.

Sometimes this seems impossible. Still, whenever we move beyond our wounded selves and claim our God-given selves, we give life not just to ourselves but also to the ones who have offended us.” Henri Nouwen Society, Daily Meditation

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I still do not know how to confront evil well. I know not to fight it with its own methods because then we become just like the evil one. My spiritual director gave me the old Jewish story that she heard from author, Megan McKenna, about the young girl who was given the choice of marrying an evil man or having her father’s debt paid depending on whether she picked a black stone or a white stone.  She saw the evil man actually put two black stones in the bag which would mean she was only picking stones to marry him. It seemed hopeless. She was not going to have a choice. She hugged her father, picked a stone, and threw it into the air. where it fell and became mixed up with all the other stones on the ground. She apologized for her clumsiness but said they would know which one she picked by seeing what was left in the bag. The story is telling us that when we confront evil, we cannot confront it head on. It is often too powerful. We must be creative, crafty, approaching it from a lateral position and hold on to love. Never let go of love.