Saturday, June 16, 2007

Coffin on Grounding the Demonic

The residents of my garden mock my landlady's territorial claims

As we continue to prepare for our Kevorkian moment here on the blog, we offer another slice from the wisdom of William Sloane Coffin. Today, a unique interpretation of a famous but oft-neglected piece of Christian teaching.

"If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also." This doesn't mean, however, that we're supposed to be doormats for others to walk on with hobnailed boots. It's my experience that people seldom want to walk over you until you lie down, so it's better to stay standing. Turning the other cheek means, "Be a lightning rod; ground the hostility." When you are insulted, call the other's attention to the hurt but do not retaliate in kind. Try--and believe me it is hard--try not even to resent it, for our job is to get to each other, not at each other. You know as well as I do that when enmities dim, lives glow all the stronger.

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