On Monday, the New York Times ran an article about a town in Florida that is home to a federal prison that had to be temporarily relocated in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. The people in the town are really suffering from the effects of the government shut-down. The article ends with this quote from a disgruntled Trump supporter:
“I voted for him, and he’s the one who’s doing this,” she said of Mr. Trump. “I thought he was going to do good things. He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting.”
He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting? Is that what this woman wanted from a President? Someone who would hate all the same people she did and seek to cause them harm?
Today in my own community, a local church posted on their public Facebook page a reassurance to their members that they had effectively dealt with a homeless couple camping on their property by calling the police, having them arrested and disposing of all of their possessions. The motto of their church: Making a Home for All God’s Children.
We have become (or maybe always have been) a fearful, ugly and mean-spirited people. And our descent into callousness is filled with the lamenting of the loss of our Christian nation–as if that was something destroyed from the outside instead of from within.
Those of us who believe that help, rather than hurt, is the answer have got to become more visible and more vocal. Stand up and speak out against those who would hurt the least of these. Push back against hateful racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic rhetoric. But–and here’s the tricky part–do it all without resorting to name calling, fear-mongering or diminishing anyone’s humanity. Otherwise, we just become part of the hate and hurt cycle.
Love fiercely and fearlessly, y’all. Hate and hurt seem to be taking the lead in our world right now, but we know that love wins.
“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19