I fell out of bed just the other night. Fell smack on the floor and hit the side of my face on the dresser on my way down. It’s still black and blue. It looks like I was in a fight, which I was. I was dreaming at the time that I was fighting someone. I must have taken a big swing at whoever it was and threw myself right off the bed. I hit the ground hard, because my wife heard it from the kitchen and came running. I know now why they call it a hardwood floor.
Like most couples I know, we are on opposite ends of the day/night spectrum. Marti’s prime hours are from two in the afternoon until about two in the morning. I’m good from four in the morning until about four in the afternoon. At ten o’clock at night, I’m barely standing and Marti is just getting her second wind. We’re like ships passing in the afternoon. By nighttime, we’re hardly within sight of each other. I can see her smokestack steaming off in the distance while I’m shutting my engines down and starting to drift.
That’s what happened when I fell off the bed. I wasn’t officially in bed yet. I was still in my clothes. I think I might have been folding laundry when the bed looked so good to me that I decided I’d just lie there for a minute until she was ready for bed. Next thing I knew, I took a swing at someone and ended up on the floor.
Marti was actually surprised that I was fighting someone. “It’s so against your nature to fight,” she said.
“It was ‘only in my dreams,’” I said, mimicking the popular phrase.
I don’t remember who it was I was fighting or why, but I must have packed quite a wallop, or maybe he did, since I’m the one who ended up on the floor!
Marti’s right. I dislike fighting, but not necessarily in my dreams. I bet I do a good deal of fighting in my dreams, if I could remember them.
We’ve been talking a lot about nonviolence in the Catch lately and maybe that’s why I’m dreaming about fighting. It’s human to fight — to defend oneself. Peter resisted the soldiers who came to take Jesus away. Lopped an ear off of one of them that Jesus immediately healed. What Jesus was accomplishing at that point would never be won by a sword.
I think the deal with fighting is that there is almost always a better way to resolve something. Fighting only proves who’s bigger or better; it doesn’t change anything about what started it in the first place. And usually, once you are underway, you forget why you were in it anyway.
Fighting almost always involves retaliation, and once that starts, it can go on for centuries as it has in many parts of the world. That’s why Jesus has us turning the other cheek, going the extra mile, taking whatever is dished out at us and returning good for evil. It’s the only thing that will stop the cycle.
We can’t exact justice upon one another. We don’t know the whole story, nor do we know the heart. Let it go. God knows how to do this and He knows when it’s the right time. Leave it to Him to do, otherwise, you might just end up on the floor and forget why it was that you got there.