I was away last week and took some time to reflect, to think about life and what it should or shouldn’t be about.
The best word for life I could come up with was ‘flourishing’.
Life seems to be a tug of war between the kingdom of death and chaos,
between darkness and disease,
between the blackness that grabs you by the throat and wants to choke the life out of you (and your loved ones)
and (on the other side)
life and beauty,
a flourishing care and encouraging of my neighbour (human and non human)
to grow and bear fruit.
Or Jesus, to put a Christian spin on things.
So on one side flourishing, fruit and the other side death, murder, chaos monsters.
The command not to kill seems to me to be more than going out and shooting someone, it would suggest to me a deliberate action to take away somebody else’s life in it’s totality, to stump their growth, to try and harm them. A.A. Milne writes
‘The Church, we may assume, regards murder as a sin against God. In most cases murder is an attempt by an individual to end a situation which can only be ended by the removal of some other individual. The sole reason for the murder is that the death of this other will preserve or increase the wealth, happiness or safety of the murderer.’
I guess that so much of our economic life puts us into competition, violence and war with our neighbour.
As I’ve mentioned before and struggle with, applying for jobs and hoping that I get it before the other applicants takes me to a place were I’m putting my/our wealth, happiness and safety before that of those who also applied. It’s like a battle except that the strength of military might is replaced with C.V. might.