It is unfortunate in our broken world—and we, ourselves, as broken as anyone—that the presence of attack comes, usually at the least predicted of times.
There are a myriad of possible and different emotional and mental responses in being attacked. We can be livid, panicked, overwhelmed, bewildered, and even in hysterics. It may be safe to say that no one is truly ready to be attacked.
Part of the confusion within the feeling of being attacked, acknowledging that attacks are so often very subjective, is the irreconcilable logic that the attacker uses.
They confound the argument in a volley of abuse and they cannot be reasoned with when their hearts and minds run astray with many fancies of threat against them. They attack because they feel attacked. They hurt because they feel hurt. And knowledge of these facts help us, despite our emotional response, which can be impossible to control, to forgive on the spot because we recognise they need our support and empathy in their terrifying moment.
The attacker behaves like an injured or frightened animal.
They strike out with abandon and mortal wounds of words and deeds of harm are exacted in ways that are sure to bring regret.
So what safe defence is there when we are being attacked?
The Beauty of a Prayer for Neutrality
The best thing we can do in the process of being attacked is to pray for neutrality—for the protection of God toward humility, compassion, patience, and wisdom. We must desire a reasonable mind.
What good would it be to strike back? We’ve all had experience of striking back, and it never worked. The only vindication that works is a defence that quells the attack the simplest and most effective way we can be guided by God to execute.
Praying for neutrality, centring ourselves on the Presence of God, even in the midst of battle, gives us the poise to think straight as we can.
Praying for neutrality holds our hearts open to the Divine Inspiration of the Lord. If ever we need it, we need it now. Times like these we just want to do what is right to end the threat.
Being attacked is never fun, and our default response is to attack back. But this never works. It only inflames things. We are better to pray, and to pray for neutrality; for a balanced heart and a wise-enough mind to get through the threat, so as to ease into safety, so that no harm would come to anyone.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.