Here’s a question for you: If you saw the worst person you’ve ever met, a person who deserved the beating of a lifetime, would you do it?
Don’t answer right away.
Allow me to set the stage in brief.
I once worked for a man who was “devoutly” Lutheran. He presented himself as a fair honest man.
He was actually the most un-Christian person I’ve ever met. He was of an old boys network mentality. Power and money mattered most to him.
By firing me, he was able to dump all my transactions for the year–almost half of the store’s entire burden–and set up a scenario where he would be able to get a bonus for the first time in years.
That’s right. I got fired so an asshole could get a bonus.
Then he lied to people about it. Said that an emergency situation had caused me to quit. Later on, he presented it as a difference of opinion, which is almost correct. I wanted to remain employed, he wanted a bonus.
Eighteen months later, he decided to join the ministry. Yeah, a petty, self-indulgent asshole in the ministry. This was a man who thinks he is capable of ministry and guiding souls, just as he is intrinsically corrupt, manipulative, and power-hungry.
Others have mentioned that many in the ministry have this mindset.
When I found out about this hellish weasel’s lies–seriously, the guy looks like a damn weasel–I knew I would beat the shit out of him if I saw him again. It’s why I stayed out of my former workplace for so long. Once he left for the ministry (ha!), I returned to that store and found out about the second tier of lies.
As someone who grew up as part of a Lutheran-Missouri Synod congregation, nothing has fractured my faith more than the fact that the most deplorable person I have ever met has been allowed to be part of the official church.
I thought about that faith, about Christian ideas. I thought how so many people proclaim their Christian faith, then persecute the poor and sick. Way to uphold that Christian spirit, guys!
In my reflection on the topic, I thought about myself. Who am I to strike at someone with violence? How can I hold a standard of compassion and beat the absolute hell out a man, even if he’s earned it?
I can’t do it. I honestly know I can’t.
That doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel like I would when he walked in front of me for the first time since he fired me. He was twenty-five feet away and I wanted to beat him bloody. Still do. But I calmed myself.
He walked past me again, stopping to talk to someone he used to speak with back at the old job. I still wanted to give him that fist to the face.
Instead, I sat and I wrote. Not just this, but other things too.
Later, when the gentleman the weasel spoke with appeared to have lost something, I asked if I could help. That’s when I realized being kind means more to me than giving a real piece of shit asshole the beating of a lifetime.
I saw the worst person I’ve ever met, a person who deserved a beating. I did not give him the injury he earned so long ago.
Could you do the same?