You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.What did Jesus really have in mind here? Let evil go unconstrained in the world?
Maybe not. Maybe what he had in mind was something more along the lines of what the social worker Julio Diaz did when he was mugged in the NYC subway. Check out the NPR story here. As Diaz demonstrates (quite literally), "handing over your coat as well" might be a bold act of unexpected--and transformative--compassion. If only more of us were like Diaz, demonstrating creative compassion so consistently that even our muggers are caught up in the web of it, blinking in wonder that such a thing is really possible.