You have heard.. “You shall not murder’”
         But I say to you that if you are angry with a sibling,
         or insult them you will be liable to judgment.
         When you are offering your gift at the altar,
         if you remember that someone has something against you…
         first be reconciled to your sibling,
         and then come and offer your gift.

                  —from Matthew 5.21-24

If you love the people of the world
and know them as your siblings,
if you care, you will clearly see injustice
and you will be furious.

Let your rage burn.
Do not quench its flames.
Let yourself be angry at what should not be.
The Teacher is not lulling us into docile politeness
in the face of demons;
but let your rage be against the demons,
not against the people possessed.

See how the Teacher turns our mind first
from being wronged to having wronged others.
First sweep your house of your own demons.
Seek forgiveness
and be reconciled to those you have wronged
before you make demands of those who wrong others.
Let the furnace of repentance refine your rage
into desire for kindness for all.
Some things need to be burned down, but not people.
Let nothing diminish your love for wrongdoers
even as you go at what diminishes their love.
Oppose the oppression, not the oppressor.

Let your rage be the fire of love,
not the ire of not getting your way;
the refining fire of justice,
not the consuming fire of anger.
Let your rage be refined with sorrow.
Out of the death of grief let passion rise,
burning desire for love among all.
Let that passion fuel your work for restoration,
the fire of love be your courage
to do justice, to love mercy, to walk humbly with God.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

February 13, 2020

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