I’d never seen anything like it.. And children – well teens had committed the act, no less…
You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. Matthew 5:38-39 NIV
I thought they were my friends. She said afterward, covered in her own blood, face swollen, cut. Truth is, I didn’t think she was going to make it. She had been jumped in a planned attack and she didn’t fight back. Her body was limp and she was drowning on her own blood when we arrived.
The ones who carried out the attack demonstrated no remorse. I heard from one, first hand that the victim deserved it because she dared to defend herself against bullying, behaving out of character. Though she knew from our sessions that she should feel guilt or remorse, she didn’t.
I don’t play poker, so I don’t have a poker face. In the presence of coworkers, I admittedly let my guard down as we watched the video a few hours later. The images I saw shocked me. Horrified me. Saddened me. The rage and violence of the attack – the victim not fighting back. All this I saw after the conversations. Even now, 12+ hours later as I write, I’m overcome.
One of the most touching things I heard the victim say today was that in all of that, she prayed.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:43-45 NIV
I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not easy to love your enemies. It’s not easy to pray for them or pray for someone who has hurt you physically, emotionally.. Especially immediately after and/or during the offense. But if not right away, then when? I learned something from her today.. She didn’t look at herself as a victim, actually. She was victorious. She survived something that I honestly don’t understand. And in it, she prayed. In it she relied on God. He rescued her right in time. What better testimony is there?
I don’t pretend to know everything. As I’ve said, I’m overwhelmed, but God… In everything there is a lesson to learn. I definitely learned a lesson or two out of this day!