Jesus was driving on Willis Avenue Sunday night, when he was cut off by another car. At the stoplight on Roscoe Blvd., he exited his vehicle and approached the offending driver, intending to confront him. In response, five shots were fired through the window, and the car sped away. Jesus died in the street. His family watched the craziness unfold from inside their car.
A father of two, reduced to a sidewalk shrine of novena candles in 30 seconds.
No words were exchanged.
Rage, rooted in the French Latin: rabies.
We speak of rage as something we fall into, or are thrown into, like a pit. Perhaps it is somewhat different. Perhaps it is the moment the Holy Spirit leaves our body. A wrinkle not only in time but an interruption in the flow of consciousness. On any given day we might be triggered in some way, expend our rage in a Reichian moment, then come back to ourselves. But on this day Jesus Alejandro Benitez Jaimez encountered someone more rage-filled and intemperate than himself, putting his soul at hazard. He threw caution into the void and from the void the Devil extracted his due.
There are those who disagree with a spiritual interpretation. Rage is purely chemical, they feel. A chain reaction out of the hypothalamus. As random as weather.
Imagine a blue fin tuna swimming off the coast of Japan, ending up on a sushi plate. Why that particular fish, out of all the fish in the world? How did it wind up in that particular net, hoisted into a certain boat, sold at auction X, to distributor Y, and put on a pallet to Long Beach, and not to Singapore? Was it destined for my belly, and no other?
We may feel, and indeed be, very small on a planetary scale. But we retain moral agency over the forces of light and darkness within us. When a garden variety traffic annoyance triggers a fight-or-flight response, something else is going on. I submit the Spirit has been abandoned.