Chipotle isn’t the best place for having conversations, especially at lunch time. Its just too busy and the line wraps around the whole restaurant and it feels like everyone is watching and listening to you. Not that we were talking about anything sinister, unless you consider trying to figure out how to navigate conversations about faith with fellow Christians who believe very little that you believe about God or the Bible to be sinister. How to be a person of peace when it comes to having dialogue about non-violence is not only important, but difficult. Its easy to become defensive, or feel like you’re the only one who knows anything about the world, or that you have some sort of elevated consciousness that you wish everyone could attain to.
That’s what Ty and I were talking about, all-the-while we were literally elbow to elbow with people from his old church that he got fired from for not tithing directly to the church. He didn’t mention that he felt awkward, but it was awkward. They were absolutely catching parts of our conversation (it was apparent by the occasional glances that we both received).
So we were talking about Christian ethics, and about how to find a peaceful solution to world issues, when I received a phone call from a good friend of mine who was almost in tears. She said she just got off the phone with her mom, and her dad was in the background screaming at her mom. She said her dad had gone into a drunken rage (AT LUNCH TIME!) and put her mom in a headlock and was punching her and pushing and kicking the kids still in the home who were trying to stop him.
My heart dropped, and then it raced, and my blood pressure raised significantly.
This isn’t the first phone call or conversation I’ve had with my friend about her mom and dad. This has been on-going. We have talked about how her mom needs to leave her dad and protect the children that are still living at home. We both believe divorce is the only best option for this situation, even though we both believe that divorce is absolutely wrong. Domestic violence is such a tricky thing though, because even though her mom absolutely CAN leave her husband and the abusive situation, she also CAN’T. Victims have the hardest time thinking straight about their own situations.
Is this hypocritical? Is there really a third way?
On top of that, everything inside of me wanted to kill her dad. I couldn’t, but I did in my mind and my heart on the phone. I wanted him to receive the same beating that he was giving to my friend’s mom.
Non-violence isn’t easy, is it? It’s not easy to walk a path that Jesus asks me to walk when (expletive) gets real. I know in my head that God loves this man. But I sincerely do not have it in me to show love to him. That’s the crux.
It’s one thing to talk about ideals, its a whole other beast when it comes to living them out in real life. So, I’m asking God to take control of that family’s dreadful situation, and to show me the third way to live out what I believe Jesus is calling me to do.