When to NOT Turn the Other Cheek…

Last night, I came across a post in my FB feed that really upset me… It upset me because of who had written it as much as because of the content. It was by someone I used to respect and saw as dedicated to the Highest Good of All. Yet yesterday’s post was full of venom when he spoke of those who openly opposed Trump as ‘debris circling the drain of society’  ending the whole rant with how they will find ‘themselves flushed down the drain.’ 

I suppose, it wouldn’t have been so bad if had laid out some kind of action plan but really, it was just a way for him to show contempt for those who claim to act from the heart and in accordance with their conscience. It was vile, toxic slime spewing forth from the mouth of spiritual pride and arrogance. Yet this post got well over 30 likes and many comments. Arrogance sounds so good when it comes from the mouth of a man, doesn’t it? Had a woman said the same things, people might have just rolled their eyes and kept scrolling, quietly mumbling ‘Bitch, please… When did you last get laid?’

The one good thing that came out of this post was that I decided to pull one card each on when to turn the other cheek and when to rise up and resist. We have prime examples of Jesus doing both in the Gospels… but how to translate this to our times? There are no tables to overturn at the Great Temple, because the whole Church has become the whore of the State… and there are no Pharisees to shout ‘you white-washed tombs’ at (or if there are, it is not my job).

When I think of someone who resisted the way Jesus did, but closer in time, Maximilian Kolbe always springs to mind. Mainly because his story made such an indelible impression on me when I was still quite young (around ten, I believe). Kolbe was a Catholic Priest who refused to put his name on the Deutche Volkliste, in solidarity with those oppressed by the regime. He also opened his monastery to refugees. Inevitably, he found himself dragged off to Auschwitch. Incidentally, the people attacked by name in the post mentioned above were public figures (mainly women, with the exception of Michael Moore) who had declared they would stand with the Muslim community and register with them as an act of solidarity.

What Kolbe did next is nothing short of remarkable. Three prisoners were suspected of having escaped from the concentration camp (though all later found dead within the camp walls). To deter further escape attempts, the camp commander lined the prisoners up and randomly picked ten to place in a starvation bunker. Kolbe heard one of them cry out for mercy and stepped up to take his place.

During two whole weeks of starvation and severe dehydration, he then ministered faithfully to his fellow bunk mates and gave them last rites as they dropped off one by one. Every time the camp guards looked in, Kolbe was found kneeling in prayer (yes, I’m crying as I type this) and they were so put to shame that after two weeks, with only Kolbe remaining alive, they couldn’t stand watching it any more so they went in to give him a lethal injection. He calmly raised his arm and went peacefully to sleep.

So… when to apply turning the other cheek and when to rise up and resist…?

For the former I received Temperance and for the latter, the 4 of Cups.

I found this interesting because Temperance is about showing restraint and moderation. In doing so I am able to turn the other cheek when provoked. I douse the fire that rises when provoked with the water of Spirit by remaining in a constant state of prayer which allows me to maintain my spiritual vision of reality.

In the 4 of Cups, a different scenario arises. Relating the 4 to the Emperor IV (government, authority) and the 4 of Cups to stagnant emotions such as apathy and light depression, I see that when we feel that there is nothing we can do to change things because we are so powerless and the evil of this world is so powerful is precisely the time we need to rise up and resist.

As a woman, I’m feeling the 4 of Cups now… so I wipe my tears and rise.

Please feel free to share in the comments if you also decide to pull cards on this!

Love and Blessings,

Lisa Frideborg