On Hate and Love

We're standing on the playground before preschool, the first day it's really felt warm enough to let them play before school and the first day with enough snow melted for them to play.  They're all so happy to be outside and playing.  She tells us about the woman who was in Walmart all night with her kids, loading up carts of things to steal. We're all horrified and feel badly for the kids and wonder about her circumstances and I'm thankful to stand there with a group of women who don't jump immediately to saying disparaging things about this woman's character based on desperate behavior that's likely a result of complicated circumstances.

I can't help but wonder, what happens in your life that brings you to this point and how can I ever understand the enormity of that? Why are we all so quick to judge?  I think of this post that I just sat in the car and read while Nick played with seatbelts.  "I just wish, she said, that so many people hadn’t ended in the place of “well, it’s really hard and complicated, so I guess I better not tell any stories”. Her voice is ringing in my ear, echoing what I don’t say often enough, but I believe right to my very core: there are so many stories waiting to be told, and they need to be told well."

I check Facebook and see that my husband has shared the news of Fred Phelps' death and he's on the bandwagon of, "Karma is a b!tch! Rot in Hell! I hope he suffered like crazy! Maybe a truck will "accidentally" run over the rest of this psychotic bastard's followers."  I can't lie and say that I don't shudder a bit and say a prayer of thanks for one less evil person here on earth, but I just can't get on that train.

John and I will agree to disagree and I will make it a self-righteous point to remind him that he's teaching his children with his actions and he'll be annoyed and I'll be annoyed and we'll be annoyed together, but both come to the same conclusion that we want our children to learn to love others, not hate them, no matter what the reason or circumstances.  

In the same vein as the Walmart story, I can't help but wonder what on earth happened in this man's life that brought about such hatred toward other human beings, especially without knowing anything at all about them.  I wonder what happened to the adults that raised him who perpetuated this hatred and I promise myself that I won't spread that same attitude to my own children.

My favorite Facebook status? "Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist church has died. I want to thank him for making his message of hate heard throughout the country. His "church" unintentionally helped the push for equal rights more than almost any other cause in the last few years."  It's so easy to judge, but I don't want that to be what my children learn in the world,  I want them to learn to find that light shining through - the way this terrible hatred helped to shine a light on equal rights and has spurred an even larger movement filled with love and acceptance that doesn't place limits on who deserves what in this world.   


  1. I can not express to you how much I adore your blog! I get it each day in my inbox and I always pause, no matter what I'm doing to read it.
    I loved your post the other day about your son washing his cars, you said I'm not the sit on the floor and play kind of Mom, I am not great at that either and have found so much guilt in this, NO one EVER says they are not good at that, it was such comfort in know I wasn't alone, I'm good at alot of things as a mom, sitting and playing is not one of them.
    And this post today, I often wonder the same thing... HOW did that person get to this place or that place.
    I just recent shared a photo on my facebook page that said this:
    "Do no judge, you do not know what storm I have asked her to walk through" - God
    So many times I have stood in judgement of others. WE all do. It's human nature. Even when we think we aren't judging we are. It is so important to remember that everyday someone is facing something that TO THEM is the hardest thing they may have ever faced. Our own battle is not always, someone else's biggest battle. But feels like a huge one to us.

  2. You're right. People have reasons for doing the things that they do. It fulfills some sort of need for them. It doesn't mean that they're getting that need met in the most appropriate or healthy way, but there is a reason for what they do.

    I think Shauna Niequist said something along the lines of "I'm a lover, not a fighter." That's pretty much how I feel, although there are certainly some big things (big to me) that I'm willing to fight over. After a few rough ministry years, I have no desire or energy to speak the kind of things that have been spoken about us.

  3. Ditto, ditto, ditto! Great post, Lillian.


Leave some love!