Passive Resistance

Passive Resistance
Epiphany 7; Matthew 5:38-48
On mount or plain he teaches wisdom’s word:
“When someone strikes you, turn the other cheek!”
So counter-cultural, it seems absurd:
how can he dare to claim: “Blessed are the meek?”
You can’t defend your land if hands are slack.
The law says: “Tooth for tooth and eye for eye!”
Why then give up the right to hurt them back?
Survival instinct urges: “Fight or fly!”
while he goes silent, undefended to his death.
There’s courage there, but can he claim to win?
The enemies he loves deny him breath;
no heavenly hosts descend to conquer sin:
and yet, there’s Gandhi, Martin Luther King:
their deaths life-giving, like the thorn-crowned King.
         Barbara Messner February 2017
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