9 — He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
10 — Be still, and know that I am God.
Uh, oh. Here he comes. Uncle Henry, breaking out the Bible again.
Why is it we all have a relative like that, one that insists on talking religion when you simply wanted to socialize and get away from stress, politics and possible controversy of everyday life? Replace Henry with “Aunt Matilda” and you’ll get the same meaning.
Just finishing a good meal, you and others sit back and casually drift from topics of Philadelphia sports and family remembrances, when some “thing” prods ’em to talk about God or some religious experience he must share with each captive audience he gets in the house?
I can take a little proselytizing, but my back gets up when I hear statements I believe are incorrect, or outright lies and demonization of someone else’s believes. I joke at the dinner table, and politely say we gotta keep politics out of the conversation, but that crazy uncle keeps going, unable, or unwilling to take the hint.
So, he continues, as I hope the condemnation of another’s faith comes to a quick death, without my interference or a PTSD (post traumatic stress [sans disorder] ) reaction. I’ve been good in these situations, never raising my voice, while becoming hyper-alert and keenly aware of the best lull in the talk to get my point across and get out without causing anyone physical harm.I try again to steer the conversation anywhere but religion. Too late. Somebody says something about the Catholics. Now the Jews, Oh my God, here it comes, they’re preaching about USA’s newest group to guard against, the Muslims.
Here I go, defending each one by one, as I flash the sword of an Archangel Michael battling Lucifer, fighting alone like a zealot in a roomful of doubting adults. I call on the loving and mystical words of St Teresa_of_Avila, the wisdom from the Kabbalah and versus to “my Beloved” written by the Islamic sect of the Sufi.
Next, I hit ’em with a taste of Hinduism, a smidgeon of “New Age” philosophy from divining crystals as well as Reiki healing, not to mention multiple quotes from the 84,000 teachings of Buddhism.
Now, you’ve done it, Michael J. You have become him, your Uncle Henry. Erupting with a spiritual fervor that only God recognizes, let alone understands. Now, back away gently. That’s it, find common ground where you can agree with those you disagree. Ask for forgiveness for letting your emotions get away from you.
And pray to God that the only wars you face will be made of words, and not those your Uncle Henry could encourage others to fight to prove his side is more righteous.