The news shocked a nation.
A man had decapitated a four-year-old girl with a cleaver on a street in Taipei. It happened in broad daylight right in front of the child’s mother.
This incident caused a public outcry in Taiwan and threatens to boil over. An angry mob was so outraged that they beat up the man while he was being transferred from the police station to the prosecutor’s office. The police couldn’t stop them or perhaps didn’t want to.
There was a widespread call for death penalty and immediate execution for the killer. They want a life for a life and a head for a head.
It was not unlike the typical “revenge” motif we often find in Chinese movies – “wo yao bao chou” or “I want revenge.”
Even though the murderous act of the deranged man was monstrous yet the magnanimous response of the visibly traumatized mother is moving.
She calls for calm as she mourned her loss. She believes the problem cannot be solved by a quick act of justice. The holler for justice can hammer down peace. She welcomes the members of the public to her child’s wake but asked they come “without hatred” in their hearts.
She exhibits the spirit that Jesus taught in Matthew 5:38-39
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
Jesus calls all His disciples to avoid personal retaliation. He strikes at very core of our human carnality to want to settle the score. Jesus wants the life of His disciples to be characterized by kindness rather than a defense of honor, mercy rather than a demand for justice.
Just so, the grieving mother refuses to repay evil for evil. She will not let rage and hatred undermine her peace and the peace of the people.
And that moves the hearts of a nation and netizens all over the world.
Perhaps her little adorable child did not die in vain.
I see a “Little Light Bulb” of hope in the world … only if there could be more who would not return hate for hate.