Antipathy? No

One thing the men and women we work with daily teach me over and over again, is this; anger, hatred, hostility are just not the way to go. An abusive person we get out of prison is 90% likely to have been an abused person in their early life. So, really, at whom is our antipathy to be directed.

We are told we may hate the works of the Enemy (Satan, the Devil). There is limited room for anger, though Jesus showed righteous indignation on more than one occasion. You already know, my Bible reading friend, our Lord Jesus demonstrated sorrow more often than anger. Jesus empathizes with the physically ill, with sorrowing family and friends and even wept over the coming distress for a whole city of persons. Jesus demonstrated anger only at the wrongful use of a religious shrine, the Temple in Jerusalem. Jesus has unkind words for people who use religion wrongly, but our Lord demonstrates compassion for all persons trapped on the margin of society.

I spent a few hours recently with a person trapped in a cycle of abuse. Let us call this person Z, since we do not do names here. Z went to prison for a hefty stretch with a previously clean record. Z does not minimize the crime, or blame the authorities who prosecuted the case. When Z does display some regret it is directed at the abusers in Z’s past. Z knows there are tough choices ahead if Z wants to break the abusive cycle left from the past.

I have learned to agree with Z. Tough choices must be made to move on from the abuse cycle. The narrative must change. At Chains of Grace, we are committed to changing the cycle of abuse. One generation without abuse may not be enough, but it is where we must start.

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Pray from grace for grace for all whom God loves.

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