Teufelskreis

“Teufelskreis” is a German word that literally means “devil’s circle.” In English we call it a vicious circle or cycle. Merriam-Webster defines it as a repeating situation or condition in which one problem causes another problem that makes the first problem worse.

Describing our world’s cycle of violence as the “devil’s” circle perfectly captures the true essence of what we see and hear in the news day in and day out.

I’ve been thinking of this word more and more.

ISIS. Torture report. Ferguson. Brooklyn. The Interview. Hacks and threats. Peshawar…death penalty…

Teufelskreis.

There has to be a better way…

The devil circles and waits

for us to slide along the arc

of our basest nature.

The Teufelskreis traps

the best and the worst

among us

in the worst of who

we can be.

We trade hate and hurt,

craving retaliation more than reconciliation.

Who started it?

Whose evil reaction is

most evil?

Depends on who’s asking.

The Teufelskreis

takes over

and traps us,

ensares us,

makes us feel justified

in our own evil responses.

We appear powerless to break free

of the Teufelskreis.

Eye for an eye.

Kill or be killed.

That’s the devil’s way.

The Teufelskreis.

So God made a better way.

The Way.

Jesus is The Way.

He came to earth as a baby.

Vulnerable.

Dependent.

Human.

Sacrificed.

Unjustly murdered for reasons

justified by many.

Physically weak on the cross

but morally strong enough to escape

the centrifugal force of

the Teufelskreis.

He rejected a violent response

and prayed for those

who persecuted him.

He showed the way

to break free.

With nonviolence and forgiveness.

He did not allow the

violence of others

to alter the nature of

who he was.

And at the foot of the cross

lay scattered the shattered shards of

the Teufelskreis.

Broken.

For me.

For you.

For the world.

And what appeared to be

weakness and defeat

turned out to be

the greatest triumph

of all time.

That

is

The Way.

The way out

of the Teufelskreis.

Image of the Joker looking frustrated. Text says "The devil and I had the world working just the way we liked it...and along comes this guy Jesus forgiving his enemies."

 

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