Yesterday I sat holding my daughter and kissing away another booboo while another mother was finding out that her son was dead through a video on Facebook. Last night I slept peacefully in my bed while police officers lay bleeding in the streets.
And this morning, I woke up to more hate and I wanted to shout “stop!”
From the comfort of my living room I choked back tears so my baby wouldn’t ask me why I was crying. I don’t understand the circumstances that brought those two black men to their deaths. I can’t fathom the reasoning that spurred another mass shooting targeting police officers.
But I do understand that the heart of man is desperately wicked. Again, men play god with life and again we lose. On the radio I heard a Dallas preacher answer the question, “what do we do?” He said, “Draw a circle around yourself and start there.” It starts here, with me.
People like to say that hate is taught, and I believe that is true only to the extent that language is taught. We are born with the desire to communicate but we are taught how to satisfy that desire through language. We are also born with the capacity to hate, but we are taught how to handle or satisfy our hate.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9-10
How hate manifests is not the problem, it is the existence of hate all together. Hate in any form is murder and murder is not new. What do we do with the hate living inside of us – the hate that turns to fear and the fear that turns to death? The very first siblings to walk this planet hated and murder ensued over a bowl of fruit and a bit of livestock. However, today, we are watching hate and its manifestations grow to a crescendo.
So, what do I do? It is not enough to say “I’m sorry.” It is not enough to express gratitude to a police officer and his/her family. It is certainly not enough to stay silent. I do not have the answers but I do know that I can stretch out my arms in love to bridge the gap where hate and fear have left a chasm.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
Here in my circle, We, as believers, and the body of the church, seem to be so incapacitated and weak, but I've had enough. I can not fix this country or this world but I can do something.
I can eradicate hate and fear from heart by listening, by praying, and by weeping with those who weep. I can fall flat-faced before the Lord and cry out from the depths of my soul for His healing, for His love to fill me, and for each step I take in this life to be filled with the fragrance of His redemption.
As a friend recently wrote on Facebook, "So much pain has swept through our nation the past few days. We are crippled by fear. We are ablaze in anger. The prayers of those who, like me, feel helplessly stuck in a fog of inaction must be fervent, unyielding, and lovingly deafening but simultaneously gentle. We must envelop our neighbors, no matter their color or profession, in love. We must be a beacon of peace and light to those around us who are drowning in fear and hopelessness. We must cherish and protect black lives AND the lives of our brothers and sisters in blue. Now is the time. Something has to be done, and it must be done by US."
I can continue to teach my girls that “life” is a beautiful and powerful four-letter-word that has the power to change everything – whether unborn, dark-skinned, blue-lined, or all the colors of the rainbow. The image bearers of God are important. Each soul is undeserving of His love equally, and yet He has offered it to all of us equally.
“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
And that is the Love that cures all hate.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
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