When we come face to face with the one who has been instrumental in our pain, it is easy to hope for their demise. We want revenge for what they have done to us, our families, loved ones or the country we live in.

Retribution is not the way toward peace but is a deterrent to that which we seek to create. Peace within ourselves. The inner peace we desire when someone does us wrong does not come from revenge but in restorative words and actions of mercy.

The anger that permeates our veins in times of distress does not need to be channeled in rage. Instead it can be focused toward a time of reflection, enduring in the understanding that those who inflict harm have unhealed wounds. Instead of responding in kind, take time to consider the story of the person who is causing you pain. Find the Divine trapped beneath their rage, anger and distain for life. Speak truth and respond not with a closed fist, but an open hand.

Grant that I will not approach those who wish me harm with rage, but kindness. I pray that I will seek first to understand a person’s pain and recourse of their actions before responding. Help me remember that the Divine exists within all creatures of this earth and that I will only walk in ways that resemble the One who perfectly demonstrates love, justice and mercy. 

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