I’ve never been one for fireworks. So when she went ballistic I shrunk and tried to zen myself back to a place of balance.

I should have seen it coming from her tone, low and ominous, foreshadowing a storm. Yet the thunder and lightning that followed still came as a shock to me.

I put my hands up and used sorry like an umbrella, like a shield. Like a mantra, a magic spell to dissolve the tension in the air.

Then I took the blows, hoping to defuse her anger.

Raw with sorry and bruised by the blows, I retreated to my room. Useless. Utterly distracted by guilt.

“I feel so bad about what happened,” I later confessed to a friend, a third party to the conflict.

“You shouldn’t,” was his response. Was everyone else’s response, really.

I overused my sorry but I meant it every time.

I defaulted to being wrong when perhaps I should have stood up for my rights.


As a kid I always complained about things – anything, everything – being unfair. As an adult, I devoted my life to pursuing justice for others.

But under attack I preferred to take the blame instead of burning my bridges with my accuser.

Peace, man. That’s all I wanted. But at what cost?


Christmas is peace, is hope, is joy. But Easter truly is peace – and one so sublimely crafted from the furnace of conflict.

Death that brought life.

Jesus’ suffering for those who scorned Him.

The veil torn so that we might see God face to face.

The Friday that marks the brutal murder of Christ on the Cross is Good. With a capital G.

Good Friday: when Isaiah’s God of Justice preferred to take the blame upon Himself. So that He might build us a bridge to Himself. And that bridge is Christ.


Speak peace.

Speak justice.

In a world of conflict, confusion and cowardice, I’m an imperfect person trying to figure out what peace and justice look like in my day-to-day, when the abstract meets the mundane.

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  1. I don’t have a religion. I don’t know if there is a god, probably there is but I’d not at all be surprised if that God is not what was taught to me at school. What has prompted me to write is how much I relate to your quick acceptance of fault, perhaps deep down inside with the hope that the other person might, at some point, reflect on the incident, and realise that you are not entirely responsible for whatever it is. Where has it got me after so many years of diffusing anger and avoiding confrontation?
    Not very far with people who have little decency, and I notice more and more of them around. The more you accept the fact that you have caused their ire, the more it is ingrained into their head that you deserve it. I have learnt to stop apologising and keep silent. If the person is reasonable, you can discuss it when things are calmer, if not, hang it.

    As for fighting justice on behalf of others, I can only say that it is easier to fight for someone else than yourself. Perhaps this is because my head has been screwed up by a catholic education, by the countless times I am reminded that I am a worthless sinner. So why do I deserve any justice?

    These are just my thoughts as a 67 year old who is still in the process of removing the shackles of religion but still live a moral life.

    1. Hey thanks for commenting and for sharing, I really appreciate your candour. I think, yes, deep down after I realise it’s not (all) my fault I hope that the other person is rational enough to see their own role in the conflict … and most times they won’t. It has happened a couple of times recently, which is what triggered this post. I’m actually still not sure if I’ve always been like this or if it is only in recent years. In any case, I agree that it is better to keep silent than to apologise and am going to try and stop overusing the word “sorry”.

      It’s definitely easier for me to stand up for others than for myself – and I didn’t go to Catholic school! Though as you know I do think we are all sinners and the beauty of it all is that God reached out to remind us that He made us wonderfully and marvellously and doesn’t want sin to define us. Yet when I see so much injustice around me, I’m really seeing sin defining things it shouldn’t be defining. I guess that’s what motivates me to seek justice for others.

      Thank you again for sharing. 67 going on 21! 😉 I think life is as much about unlearning unhealthy things as much as it is about learning new things everyday, and I hope I am humble/open enough to still believe that when I get to 67 🙂

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