“On this earth there are pestilences and there are victims, and it’s up to us, so far as possible, not to join forces with the pestilences.” Albert Camus
In his weekly email,1 Jake Owensby gave us this quote about where God calls us in times of difficulty. When we and others are in a difficult situation and use tactics that the cause of the difficulty uses, we become like them. I am especially thinking about in times of war where soldiers may take on the inhuman tactics of their enemy in order to defeat the enemy. When we do this, we become like the enemy that we are giving up our lives to overcome.
The teachings of Christ are that violence never overcomes violence. Love is the only tool we have that can change violence. We are called to be on the side of the victim and not to become like the pestilence that is harming the victim.
This also was the teaching of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. The civil rights movement is not over, but when we use the methods of the oppressors, we become like them.
Owensby reminds us that we are “to act justly in an unjust world.”
How does this apply to our spiritual life? We keep our connection to God by following the teachings of Christ. We believe in the resurrection, and we keep looking for resurrection and modeling resurrection in our lives. We stand by the victims, especially those we have lost hope in the resurrection in the life to come as well as in their lives today, right now.
1Jake Owensby, “Moving beyond Fear, Offering Holy Resistance,” Looking for God in Messy Places, November 16, 2018.