Rodriguez, Sandra

RODRIGUEZ, SANDRA (Graduate student/ Restorative Justice)

Rodriguez SandraJesus must have had a sense of humor. I think He would have laughed as he read this. I think He would have chuckled and said, "They got it right, though I didn't probably mean that; I definitely meant that: By “loving your enemies, I meant, loving your enemies.”

But Man will do as Man does. Man will collect the light and paint with it sunsets and sunrises or Man will collect the light and make of it fires and burning spoils.

To me, this phrase reminds me of the strength not instilled in the Word of God but in mankind’s interpretations of it. We’ve been gifted with a stunningly dangerous and incredibly blessed capacity to “act” in the name of God. What we’ve done with this responsibility has led to inexplicable good as well as to unfathomable evil. To me, this phrase reminds me that there is great power in taking words at face value, presenting them and living by them in their purest form, just as sunlight sheds on us twice a day dressed so plainly yet so beautifully in the cloaks of sunrise and sunset.

So yes, I think Jesus would have read this sticker and chuckled. I think He would have smiled a smile of pride, over the notion that some us, rather than act in similar hatred and anger over the bloodshed caused in the supposed name of Christ, would take instead a gentler path, one of heartened subtlety and suggestive humor (thus the probably), and simply display a phrase that makes others think, makes others ponder, makes others pause and reflect upon the consequences of turning literal words of love into literal acts of hate. I think Jesus would have dug this little bumper sticker. I think He would have slapped it on the back of an unassuming put-put and driven off into sunset and sunrises, against all the backdrops that Man built: backdrops of light and love and kindness, backdrops of darkness, pain and suffering, backdrops that could use a tender reminder of just what Jesus meant when He said “Love your enemies.”