Tag Archives: violence

Upon Seeing Violence in Our World

“Yet the response of love can look as different as the events, situations, people, and places that populate your world. How can this be? And how can you look at each event, no matter how horrific, as a response of love?

“The only way that you can do this is by always knowing and never forgetting who you are. You are being in relationship: The creator of events as well as the experiencer of events, the creator of relationship as well as the rela¬tionship itself. You either know this or you don’t. It is not about “believing” that this is so, but knowing that this is so. It is when you know that this is so, and you also know who you are, that you know with certainty that the only response is love.” (ACOL, D:Day33.9 – 33.10)

The message in the passage for today hearkens back to A Course in Miracles. Everything—positively everything—is either an expression of love or a call for love. Help granted is always in the form of love, and that is why, as said here, “the only response is love.”

Horrific events do happen in our world, and these disturb us mightily. But each horrific event, if framed differently, is a call for love—for people, in their heart of hearts, don’t want anything else but love. Of course, people often have a very confused and confusing way to ask for love. And when we are unable to see the broad picture, when we are close to the situation and its hurt, we cannot always respond to the cry for help with an expression of love. This is our humanness coming out. We think that these people doing these horrific things don’t “deserve” forgiveness, for their acts were heinous.

If we look with a dispassionate view, we can see that we are dealing with very disturbed people who are living lives that are very distant from the love which we all need and require. We don’t have to look far for evidence that the disease of horror is rampant in our world. But we don’t have to return error for error. We can, when we are thinking clearly, know that these people need our help. It is true that we may not be able to do anything to help, nothing directly, but we can get some solace from the fact that however horrific the acts were, they were guided by very deranged thinking.

Our world needs the peace that we can bring to it. Step back from the horror, and ask what frame of mind and heart are really needed to address our many world problems. We will often find that retaliatory frames of mind just don’t work well. We need to bide our time and ask for a solution that is not of this world. When we calmer and less repulsed, we will see that responding with hate just exacerbates the hate in our world.

The only cure is thoughtful love.

Dear God,

I find the news of the day so upsetting that I reframe from watching its shrillness on television and hearing its shrillness on radio. I know that I have to be informed, but I don’t have to be inundated. Listening and seeing violence is not a cure, and it certainly doesn’t give me meaningful clues about my next right action.

You can tell me what I ought to think, say, and do, and I hope that You will. I listen for Your guidance, and then I try to reach out to my hurting brothers and sisters, if this is a feasible solution. And I can always pray that those in their circle will do those things that will help, not further hurt. Suffering has no remedy that is of this world. It takes Your touch to ease the pain that we see all around us.

Thank You for being here, always.

Amen.

This World Can Be Heaven

“You think that to come in contact with violence is to have a relationship with it.  This is not so.  If this were so, you would be joined to all you come in contact with and the world would be heaven indeed, as all you see became blessed by your holiness.  That you move through your world without relating to it in any way is what causes your alienation from the heaven it can be.  (A Course of Love, 5.31)”

Affirmation:  “I would see heaven in this world today.”

Reflections:

1 – Violent World Overcome

We who try to live good lives would make a difference in this violent world if we were truly in relationship to all of it.  This is not a grandiose belief, unless this belief is viewed through the ego’s eyes.  We can make a difference, but we at this point are not in relationship to all.  And that is what is causing the problem.

2 – Make a Different World

If we truly turned aside from violence of any kind, we would make a different kind of world, a heaven in this world.  That is what the passage is saying.  And we would be blessed, along with all the world.

3 – Extend Love

But we turn aside from having any relationship with those who perpetrate violence, by denouncing violence in them.  We do not extend our love to fellow human beings who are struggling, trying to do the best they can, even though we don’t think what they are doing is very good.  We must see other people as the brothers and sisters that they are.  And then we will see real change happening on earth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would reconsider my attitude toward those in this world who do violent things.  I have so often wanted to turn off the radio when the news is on, for the violence being reported is overwhelming and, oh, so disturbing.  This is a way that I denounce violence, by refusing to listen to it.  

Instead, I would send a prayer abroad and in this country, that violence might be dispelled.  In my own life, I would turn aside from any kind of verbal violence or verbal attack, because, just like the ones who perpetuate real violence in the world, at such times that I verbally attack, I am feeling anger–just as they are.

I would not directly resist, for I am not in the military service.  But I would gently, very gently, just turn aside from violence that I hear about, giving it no credence.  Misguided people need our understanding.  If religious people do not offer understanding, to whom can the misguided turn?

Amen.