Saturday, March 04, 2006

Violent Peace.

I reckon that everyone longs for peace. Which is an irony, really- if everyone longs for peace, why is it so difficult to attain? Gone are the days when stories of cats getting stuck on trees and later, rescued by firemen make the headlines. The world is drowning in complexities after complexities- racial conflicts, religious bickering, gender rows, cartoon wars; it certainly can’t get more creative than this.

It is rather common to flick on a television channel in which a beauty queen exclaims, “World Peace!” and flashes her megawatt smile; while a rival channel showing clips of bloodied people running away from a burning bus, with body parts strewn across the floors. Even with such gory graphics, people are indifferent towards violence. They would probably lose their appetite faster with the beauty queen’s tasteless cliché answer, rather than the screening of bombings by veiled men.

Does peace, therefore; comes with a price? The Holocaust, the Crusades and the Biblical Exile- they all tell us it does. And a hefty one, it is too- anger, hatred; and nothing short of bloodshed. If I were to think of peace pictorially, it does seem as though peace looks more like a blood-thirsty vampire than a lamb skipping on the meadow. Peace is anything but meek.

Flashback to 2500 years ago- when the sounds of the feet shuffling against the sands of the one crying out, “Comfort, comfort my people!” were perhaps, the most beautiful sounds that the Israelites had heard in years.

“The LORD has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God”. (Isaiah 52:10)- the prophet proclaimed, perhaps; in the midst of loud cheers, thunderous applause and large crowds dancing in the sandy streets for joy.

Yet, it was not the end of the prophet’s proclamation. He turned to one and perhaps, looking in his eyes; he said of the price of peace- the sacrifice of one among many to come-

“But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5-6) “Who?” The Israelites asked, their eyes searching for a prospective candidate.

Today, some of us are still, searching for that prospective candidate- that nation, that political leader, that organization, that war. Yet, it is none of them that has brought peace, nor will ever bring peace. Real peace is never to be brought by some treaty between two nations nor is it to be brought by the installation of national leader.

Peace, was already bought over; at a price of a man’s blood. And today, peace is to be brought with violent decisions- turn the other cheek, walk the extra mile, love the enemy.



Blogger Red Devil (Jia Wei) said...

It is true that it's easy to cause a war but it's hard to make peace. What is peace? State of freedom from war and violence. Harmony.

But if we look back into history, people had war to obtain peace. So, I start to wonder if we can ever obtain peace without having war.

1:48 AM  
Blogger [ Ergo Sum ] said...

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3:07 AM  
Blogger tehtarik said...

Thanks, Bro and John Mark. (2-in-1 gospel writers? :))

Yes, peace comes with a price. But not war. We have also seen that the outcomes of wars do not necessarily bring upon peace. Post-war nations suffer from severe complications and trauma.

The narrow theme to peace is not war, but love. War and peace are not chicken-or-egg issue. Absence of war does not mean peace.

Making peace is IMHO, not a passive action or non-action; but by a drastic, active action- TO LOVE.

Turning the other cheek is deemed foolish, lowly and wounding to the pride. Yet, Jesus showed the extreme of loving by willing to be hung on the cross- bearing all humiliation and shame- thanks, John Mark.

"True love is a splendid host. There is love whose measure is that of an umbrella. There is love whose inclusiveness is that of a great marquee. And there is love whose comprehension is that of the immeasurable sky. The aim of the New Testament is the conversion of the umbrella into a tent and the merging of the tent into the glorious canopy of the all-enfolding heavens...Push back the walls of family love until they include the neighbour; again push back the walls until they include the stranger; again push back the walls until they comprehend the foe".- John Henry Jowett.

4:21 PM  
Blogger jacksons said...

Some people have this attitude about peace, Bono sings of it;

"Just give me what I want, and no one gets hurt."

(U2, Vertigo, How to dismantle and atomic bomb)

5:26 PM  

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