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In Judith Viorst’s book for children entitled I’ll Fix Anthony, Anthony’s younger brother complains about the way his older brother treats him. The little brother says: “My brother Anthony can read books now, but he won’t read any books to me. He plays checkers with Bruce from his school. But when I want to play he says, ‘Go away or I’ll clobber you.’ I let him wear my Snoopy sweatshirt, but he never lets me borrow his sword. Mother says deep down in his heart Anthony loves me. Anthony says deep down in his heart he thinks I stink. Mother says deep deep down in his heart, where he doesn’t even know it, Anthony loves me. Anthony says deep deep down in his heart he still thinks I stink. When I’m six I’ll fix Anthony. . . . When I’m six I’ll float, but Anthony will sink to the bottom. I’ll dive off the board, but Anthony will change his mind. I’ll breathe in and out when I should, but Anthony will only go glug, glug. . . . When I’m six my teeth will fall out, and I’ll put them under the bed, and the tooth fairy will take them away and leave dimes. Anthony’s teeth won’t fall out. He’ll wiggle and wiggle them, but they won’t fall out. I might sell him one of my teeth, but I might not. . . . Anthony is chasing me out of the playroom. He says I stink. He says he is going to clobber me. I have to run now, but I won’t have to run when I’m six. When I’m six, I’ll fix Anthony.” Most of us know the feeling of Anthony’s little brother — whether we want to fix a family member, a person at work or a one-time friend who did us wrong.


All of us have felt the desire to “get even” with someone, pay them back, settle the score or exact an “eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” — maybe even two teeth for a tooth. But Jesus really messes with our desire to take justice into our own hands.

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