In the last few days I have been left in the quiet to think. I have been battling the pain from having been assaulted on more than just the physical level. In those quiet times, I think about what I could have said (or not said) that would have changed things. I could have not let those women into the church, but that is not really my style. I could have just nodded and smiled when they decided to make a big deal out of the fact that it was a Catholic Church and not answered their questions about the Faith forthrightly, but that would have been dishonest, and again, not my style. And besides, all the "should'ves" in the world aren't going to take the pain away.
So, I have been turning instead to what to do next. I filed charges against them with the City Prosecutor and I am waiting for the Prosecutor to finish building a case so they can be charged and picked up. In the meantime, they are free. And, they ride the same bus route that I do in the evening. In fact, I saw one of them last night. And, yes, I was afraid. So I have done my civic duty in filing to prosecute, but what about my Christian Duty?
I keep telling people to pray for them. I have yet to mention their names in prayer, though. I need to do that. I do think of them often and think about why God allowed this to happen. There must be some reason for this to have occurred. Obviously, free will is at work here, but it was allowed to happen, and in God's Holy Dwelling, no less.
I think about turning the other cheek. I guess, at one point in the altercation, I managed to scratch one of them. Some of my religion teachers would tell me that I should have "turned the other cheek" and done nothing to defend myself. Many people have counseled me to get mace or a tazer or some other thing to defend myself with. One woman told my husband that I if continued to help people out, I would continue to get hurt. And I think, that perhaps, that is the heart of the matter.
You see, if I took this incident and decided never to help anyone again, many people would be left unaided and I would be closing myself off to God's grace. But, by standing up and continuing to do God's work in the world, regardless of the fact that I might get hurt, I am, in actual fact, turning the other cheek. But this time, it means more than offering no resistance. No, it means fighting back through unbelieveable odds. Turning the other cheek is the fight of a lifetime.
Christianity is not for whimps.