Wednesday, November 14, 2012

THE OLIVE BRANCH


The other day I was talking to my friend Tony about a documentary I’ve been watching about Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's "Minister of Propoganda." The rise to power, the strategizing, even the horrifying murder of his six children in the bunker didn't grab me most. What did was an incident from Goebbel's youth. “When he was a kid, he got something wrong with his foot,” I reported eagerly (as if that explained everything, which it just might). “He became lame and all his little friends deserted him”…

I didn’t even need to elaborate. Having sustained our own wounds of abandonment, rejection, and loneliness (as who has not?), we both knew to think: I wonder if things would have been different, for millions of people later, if just one person had been kinder then…

After awhile, Tony mused, “I wonder why some people transmit their wounds by committing terrible, insane violence. And others grow an olive branch inside them.”








THIS ISN'T AN OLIVE BRANCH, BUT IT'S A BEAUTIFUL BRANCH
I SPOTTED ON THE SIDEWALK THE OTHER AFTERNOON,
PICKED UP, BRUSHED OFF, AND BROUGHT BACK TO MY ROOM.
IT HAS KEPT ME GOOD COMPANY EVER SINCE.

5 comments:

  1. Ouch. I think I need to start planting more olive trees within my heart.

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  2. the olive branch is such a beautiful metaphor.
    anger in one's heart can grow a life of its own. i pray for reconciliation and generosity of heart, especially for those profoundly afflicted by anger, loss, and resentment.

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  3. the olive branch is such a beautiful metaphor.
    anger in one's heart can grow a life of its own. i pray for reconciliation and generosity of heart, especially for those profoundly afflicted by anger, loss, and resentment.

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  4. Dear Heather,
    Tony asks a painfully beautiful questions for which I have no answer that is less than passable such as, it's the grace of God (which raises all manner of philosophical matters in the realm of -not specifically but broadly, I mean- God making vessels of honour and vessels of dishonour. Clearly there is also the matter of human will, choice, but the question is about what forms that choice.

    Our family has been through it. What has happened to our children could fill many blog posts but I don't go there online. One child holds the hurt in, and blames and resents and has lost the Faith (by their own commentary at this time) and throws the hurt around (though, thank God, not in a physically violent way). One child who has experienced the same set of circumstances and arguably worse holds life and its regrets loosely, is gracious, other focused, and would blush to read these words.

    Perhaps then the best answer for me is the imperative JP makes.

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  5. Trees are aerial antennas between
    heaven and earth.

    Looking up, maybe just the prelude
    and the tricky part.

    Judith

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