I don’t have television at my house. I miss out on all the new shows people talk about in the fall, the up-to-the-minute news, the late night comedians, all of it. But the other thing I miss out on is the influx of news when tragedy occurs. When something terrible happens and all the news channels are playing footage of the events, over and over again. I don’t miss television very much, but when events like the past weekend in Virginia occur, I find myself wanting to understand. Then I realize, I don’t need television to understand. Evil is still trying to win in this world.
I am not dismissing the brutality, the cruelty, the sheer magnitude of seething hatred that came across the screens because of the protesters. I just don’t need to see it. I already feel it in my heart. I feel the sense of inequality, the us vs. them mentality, the idea that one skin color is better than another. Yes, I am a white woman, living in the middle of America. I have never been treated as someone of color or a different nationality or religion might be treated. While I am grateful for my life, I was trained as a very young child to never look at the person’s “wrapper,” but to see their insides.
I am blessed to know people whose wrapper is a different color than mine, who love someone of the same sex, who believe in a different faith than mine and to call them friends, dear ones. I am richer, stronger, kinder because of them. I am able to see the world differently because they are in my life. Do we always agree? No. What do we do when we disagree? We talk. We listen. We strive to understand. Sometimes we come together, closer than ever before. Sometimes, we will choose to love the other person, even when our points of view remain at odds.
Watching video of human kind’s cruelty toward human kind only strengthens my resolve to love differently. To give grace more freely. To strive to meet a person where he or she is, not demand he or she come to where I am. I am not looking to politicians, talking heads, spin doctors, or anyone else to provide the answer to the question, “What can we do to make a difference?” I am looking to Jesus for my answers.
He understands, best of all, what it means to stand with people who are different. Whose religion is different. Whose citizenship does not match His. Jesus loved each person where they were, but He also challenged them to change what must be changed to become the person God designed them to become. The kind of love I mean is not the cheesy-Valentine’s Day, romantic movie love. Jesus’ kind of love was gritty, it was hard, it could be exhausting. It was worth it. It is worth it.
Precious child of God, we may only have a short time before Jesus comes back. We do not know the time or the day when He will return. The enemy knows Jesus is coming back and it would seem his sole purpose is to leave the world as destroyed as he possibly can. It is up to us, the children of God, the believers in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. We must roll up our sleeves, get down in the dirt, climb up the towers, trek over the mountains, and love. Love the neighbors with the obnoxious kids, invite the kids to do something productive. Love the neighbors who are struggling to make ends meet, instead of criticizing the length of their grass. Get to know the neighbors who have moved here from a different country. Don’t judge their customs and perspectives.
The only way to turn the tide of hatred, the only way to change the course, is to love. Love is the answer, Jesus is the key. May we come to Him and let Him lead us to those who are desperately needing God’s amazing grace and unfailing love today.