Pacifying Myself

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For all my life, I had believed, as I was taught by pretty much everyone around me (and I chose to see nothing else), that violence is wrong in every situation, save but military battle.

Over a couple-of-year period of time, I’d become more and more uneasy with it all. I struggled with Bush’s war in Iraq. I struggled, as I believe so many others did and do, that our country was using violence in the name of “peace” and “liberation.” This justified violence seemed to me just to be… violence. Yet I still pushed on, dulling my mind, telling myself that even Jesus supports fighting between nations, as long as it’s for “holy reasons.” I continued to tell myself that our Savior of peace and mercy would surely “turn over the tables” on men like Saddam, Hitler and Osama Bin Laden.

Consistently, I would come back to the nagging feeling that my sweet Jesus never once retaliated against the soldiers that for no other reason than that He was claiming to save people’s souls, beat him, mocked him, and ripped at His flesh. I would always come back to the fact that in the face of being captured in the Gethsemane garden, Jesus healed the severed ear to the wounded soldier – a soldier wounded by a disciple of Jesus, trying to defend Him. And the feeling that while Jesus turned over tables, He never once hurt another person, that just wouldn’t leave me.

Maybe it took me so long to get to the point that I could say, “I want to be a pacifist” because I recognized the violence in my own heart. It felt hypocritical to say in my heart I want one thing when my thought-life can exude so much the opposite. But I can’t aspire for something better until I admit that I want it, am willing to struggle for it, willing to die to myself for it. I could not any longer deceive myself into believing that others can or should die for my own warped sense of “peace.”

God, of course, is responsible for bringing me to this point where I was and am able to say I want to stand for His kind of peace (John 14:27). He used His Word and another good book, Jesus for President, to break my heart and move me to compassion for all of His people.

Right now is a time in my life where I am walking through a valley in my heart. I see so much wickedness within myself and want so desperately to be rid of it. It is a scary feeling to let go of the normal, the routine, the accepted. Even looking towards that which is better, healthier, holier – it’s scary sometimes, just to change. But oh, how I long for that change. How I long to look in God’s eyes at the end of this world and say, “I could be nothing other than what You wanted me to be.”

You, my church, told me it was wrong to kill

… except in war.

You, my teachers, told me it was wrong to kill

… except in war.

You, my father and mother, told me it was wrong to kill

… except in war.

You, my friends, told me it was wrong to kill

… except in war.

You, my government, told me it was wrong to kill

… except in war.

But

now I know, you were wrong, and now I will tell you, my church, my teachers, my

father and mother, my friends, my government, it is not wrong to kill except in

war

… It is wrong to kill.

-George Mizo, US army veteran

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