I HATE THEM WITH PERFECT HATE There is a weary joy in all revenge! When a man's rejoicing Over the broken lances of his vanquished foe Leaves him clean and fresh and free. Or so it seems. It matters not, the violence -- The bitterness spewed out of his hating heart . . . Is there no law? The sowing and reaping -- Are they ever one? Can man escape the consequence? Can it ever be true? The enemy caught in my vital wrath -- Was he not reaping what was sown? The penalty of my revenge, Was it but the operation of law? He had piled deed upon deed upon deed, Reckless of all returns; Emptied each hour of all the good, Ringing it round with deeds that hurt, With things that kill. Is that not so? In what he did Was he not enemy of good, Of God? In my response, was I but a living ting In Holy Hands -- Carrying out the law Of which I am a part? My hatred then is perfect And I am free of stain. But am I? The vengeance which I execute Becomes fresh seeds of violence sown, And I must reap; Or all is void. It matters not the cause -- The consequence remains "Vengeance is mine," saith the Lord, "I will repay." I rest my soul at last in this And find my peace. ---------------------------------------------- Howard Thurman from The Inward Journey
Howard Thurman lived from 1900 - 1981 and was cofounder of the
Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco, CA.
After Amy learned about Martin Luther King and his work, one of her proudest possessions was our piano bench. It was old and beat up but had come from Dr. Thurman's church during the time that Amy's dad worked there. Dad told Amy that Dr. Thurman had known Dr. King and the link was forged in Amy's mind between the great civil rights leader and the bench she sat on to play "Chopsticks".
The following piece is from his book The Inward Journey published in 1961. It is a piece that reminds us that violence begets violence and that revenge is not an option when evil befalls us.
For information on Howard Thurman and a listing of some of his books , see the following: