Broken-down Poetry: on love and hate


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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

on love and hate

As promised, here's another blog about Grace.

I was watching the Today Show this morning and more than one segment was dedicated to the 1989 Jaycee Dugard kidnapping. For those not on top of the news, Philip Garrido had kidnapped and locked Dugard inside a shed for 18 years. The big debate now is whether or not Garrido's wife Nancy is also guilty.

Everyone can agree -- and everybody does agree -- that this was a heinous crime, worthy of some sort of sentence. The world wants justice [mishpat] served; we want things "made right" for Dugard and her family.

But I fear that in the meantime, we forget that the Garridos are human; that God has called us to love them, even.

Jacque and I were talking about Grace (of course) a little bit on Sunday after church. We want so bad for our Christian brothers and sisters to love and to show Grace to people whose lifestyles differ from theirs.

We want Republicans to love Democrats.
We want patriots to love immigrants.
We want Christians to love non-believers.

But when it comes to loving the rapists, the murderers, the drug lords, the hatemongers, the slave traffickers, we limit Grace.

Love can only be given to these people.
Grace can only be shown to the well-deserved.

While watching the Today Show this morning, I made myself look at Philip Garrido without smirking or glaring or damning him with my thoughts. I tried to look at him the way Jesus might -- with overwhelming compassion, forgiveness and with a realization that the world is fallen.

But then I found it not so difficult.
Because really, I don't have a hard time not loving criminals.

But there are people I find hard to love,
people I find hard to show Grace to.


I find it easy to justify hatred when I hate people who hate people. It makes sense though, right? If you hate someone, shouldn't I have the right to hate you back?

I hate racists, but that's okay, isn't it? I mean, racism is a sin, so hating people who discriminate on the basis of skin color and nationality is justified. I hate homophobes because they refuse to see gay people as human. I can justify that.

But I shouldn't.

To allude back to Pastor Tony once again, Jesus' mission was global -- it was for everyone -- which means we are bound, we are called, to love one another. We don't get to pick and choose.

And though we may love the people most find hard to love, that doesn't exempt us from loving those we don't.

Author Anne Lamott said that you know you've successfully created God in your own image when he hates the same people you hate.

So are we loving people the way we are called to? Or are we hating people because found a way to justify it?

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