Thursday, April 12, 2007

Power Under

I was watching M*A*S*H last night with my 16 yr. old daughter. I don't watch much television but I do take every chance that avails itself to move into those intersections that seldom come for a father and his 16 yr. old daughter. In this case it was a scene where Hawkeye was scrubbed and about to operate on a Korean soldier when he noticed the guy hadn't been prepped correctly (his pants were still on). When Hawkeye turned to throw some insults at Klinger the soldier on the gurney slowly removed a live grenade from his pocket. Hawkeye noticed just in time and clamped his hand around the soldier's hand to keep him from letting go of the trigger (he'd already managed to pull the pin). These two men were in a struggle, Hawkeye to keep the grenade from detonating and the soldier to break free of the grip that Hawkeye had over his hand containing the grenade. Klinger was searching for a gas mask, Father Mulcahy for the pin, and Colonel Potter yells, sing to him! Hawkeye starts singing to him softly at first and you can see the confusion in the soldier's face. As Hawkeye's voice gains confidence others in the room join with him and the soldier slowly relaxes and allows Father Mulcahy, producing the pin that had been hidden under Hawkeye's foot, to replace the pin in the grenade. The heavens were filled with a song of triumph.
I have seen real-world examples of just this type of conflict resolution. It can be viewed as great leadership but it really is a simple concept that has been laid out for us numerous times in the Bible. Its Christ's strength made perfect in our weakness. Not in our lack of courage or our willingness to martyr ourselves but the mustard seed of faith required to understand that the powers that we are up against feed on the 'will to power' that Nietzche described and that we cannot defeat that alone. It is defeated by the 'blood of the lamb' and our 'testimony' for we shall not love our lives so much as to shrink from death. Our testimony is our surrender - not against those that we are called to rebuke (our brothers and sisters in Christ) when necessary but surrender to those that would strike us on one cheek, so we can offer another. Those that would steal our paper, we should offer our library. Those that would back-stab us to move up on the power ladder we should offer our face and heart to be wounded as well, as we lovingly support them as they climb to their lofty positions. It could get pretty ugly, this imitating of Christ. Then again, maybe we'd return to something - something before the struggle, something before the labor, something before poverty and disease, something like redemption.

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