“In time we hate that which we often fear.”
Fear laid the foundation. Fear and frustration that there was nothing we could do to stop the growing pandemic. Then in America, a hater arose, one man brutally, mercilessly kneeling on the neck of another until he died. Here, finally, was a lightning rod for our fear and frustration—here was an even older evil, one that we could fight! Many—rightly—turned to fight it, and many joined them.
But some began to fight hate with hate. Why? Because that’s hate’s oldest trick: convincing people a devil can cast out a devil (Matthew 12:26).
And now hatred is threatening to become our newest pandemic. But this one we can stop. And we must. Why? Because hate cannot cast out hate, just as COVID 19 cannot cast out itself. What can?
The only permanent cure for viruses is herd immunity, surrounding a virus with so many healthy people, people who are immune to it, that it can no longer find anyone to jump to, leaving it nothing to live on. Great, but…
Surround it with what? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observed, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Each of us must choose how that looks for us. What drowning hate with love looks like will vary from place to place, from group to group and person-to-person. But if we refuse to succumb to hate’s oldest trick, if we consciously choose to drown it with love,
Hate will lose.
“Hate looks like everybody else until it smiles.” ~Tahereh Mafi
“As long as you hate, there will be people to hate.” ~George Harrison
“I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.” ~Booker T. Washington
“If we claim to be in the light, yet hate others, we remain in the darkness even now.” ~1 John 2:9
“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” ~Mother Teresa
“Love lights more fires than hate extinguishes.”
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox