Tag Archives: Violence

The Meaning Of Violence and The Desire For Violence

13 Apr

To read the next two segments (four and five) of my series, The Virtue Of Violence CLICK HERE and scroll down to:  4. The Meaning Of Violence.

It is Jesus’ virtuous, violent death on the cross that enables the meaning of my violence to be changed.  The birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ makes it possible for my violence to be used by God for his good and virtuous purposes.

When the brutalized and risen one pursued me, caught me, turned me toward himself and joined me to himself by his Spirit, he began the ongoing process of turning the meaning of violence in my life (among other things).

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Broken

10 Nov

cracked_glass man on knees

Between us, on a tabletop of glass, a working hand
becomes a hammer.  Blood does not spill, it boils.  

Shards lament the ways we will not mend, and how
the heart, like a fractal, repeats a pattern of breaks

and splits when magnified.  My heart shoves blood
along a crooked line until I heed the rattle-crack

and attend the bang of anger.  The embittered rackets
rise until the broken pieces lay at rest between us.
 
 

 

 

 

Amid Old Friends

31 Oct

Amid old friends, a working hand
comes down hard. Fear falls on the land
when a fist becomes a hammer,
a glass tabletop to shatter.
A man, afraid, will take a stand

when, not according to his plan,
he receives a humble brand
and is loath to drop the matter
amid old friends.

Shards sing out how rage will expand
into violence, will demand,
with a loud rattle of anger
and a bang of bad behavior,
that we heed a fool’s reprimand
amid old friends.

The Violence Bearer

30 Oct

3.  The Violence Bearer

To recap, there is no virtue in me that changed the meaning of violence in my life.  But there is Jesus, who was subjected (in humble reliance on his Father’s goodness and loving-kindness) to the collective brutality of every sin.  On the cross He absorbed every violence that ever was, and ever would be.  By doing this he enabled the forgiveness of every sin (past, present, and future) for everyone who would call on him for forgiveness.

After all, every violation of God’s good law is ultimately against God and his son Jesus (and the Holy Spirit).  The historical figure of King David makes this very clear in his response to the prophet Nathan’s rebuke of him for killing Uriah and taking Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba.  (Continue…)

The Denial Of Violence

27 Oct

2.  The Denial Of Violence

It was in a seminary lecture on violence that God spoke, quietly and clearly, “John, violence is a problem for you.  You need some help.”  I went to my professor after class and told him about some of my failures.  Later, we met and he told me to participate in an anger management group and other counseling if I wanted to continue taking classes at that school.

I was embarrassed and alarmed again.  But I followed his recommendation and began to see how my angry, vengeful violence could be changed; that, in fact, the very meaning of my violence could be changed.  (continue)

The Violence Of The Cross

25 Oct

1.  The Violence Of The Cross

Late one night, over Dunkin Donuts and coffee, I made this offhanded comment about the crucifixion to my college roommate, “At least he [Christ] didn’t have to hang there too long.”  My friend was indignant, “What?!  John, let me tell you a little bit about a crucifixion!” And he went on to describe the horrors of the cross in great detail.  Everything about a cross-death was designed to cause maximum suffering.  It is, perhaps, the cruelest tool of human torture ever devised.  The word excruciate is derived from Latin words that mean “out of the cross.”

At some point during the description, I cut him off.  I was embarrassed and alarmed.  (continue…)