your love is bigger than their hate

your love is bigger than their hateThere has been a topic I have been fearful to cover in my writings….  That is the topic of hate.

It’s too big.  It’s too ugly.

And sadly, it’s too prevalent.

I’ve been thinking how I can write about something as big as this.  I am only a small time writer.  A simple mom and wife.  I have no big degree or published philosophies to my name.

Who am I to try to speak on this topic of hate?

But it’s here.  This hate is here.  It roams through dark alleys and then in open streets.  It silently festers in our hearts then out of our angry lips.  It overtakes our mind before it overtakes our body.

And we’ve seen the destruction this hate can bring.

Innocent victims lie dead.  Families are destroyed.  Children are attacked.  Women are beaten.  The young and old are left to starve while others are forced to earn their keep.

It lies in dark brothels in India.  It lurks in hidden caves in the Middle East.  And it is seen in broad daylight the past few days in the broken-hearted community of Charlottesville, Virginia and frankly, across the country.

Hate doesn’t start as simple hate… I don’t believe we are born hating others.  But we are taught to not respect those around us who perhaps aren’t the same as us or “less” than us…  And it grows from disrespect to disregard to disservice to destruction.

Hate is formed.

And it’s awful.  It’s an awful emotion that is living and breathing and alive in our world.

I’ve tried to ignore it.  I think a lot of us have.  We want to forget the dark and focus on the light.  We see acts of violence.  We hear about those who are destroyed and we sympathize for a moment, maybe more, but we don’t let it change us…  Not enough.  We slip back into our everyday lives and pretend it does not happen.  Or we forget it does.

But every day it does happen.  Every single day.

So let’s not pretend anymore.  Let’s not forget. 

Instead, let’s do something.

Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable.  Speak out in order to judge with righteousness and to defend the needy and the poor. – Proverbs 31:8-10 (CEB)

Can I tell you I don’t believe this verse is a suggestion from God; I believe it’s a calling.  Yes, the government can help to an extent.  Social groups can help to an extent.  Charities can help to extent.

But we are all called to help the voiceless.

We all have an area in which we are called to fight for social injustice. What exactly this looks like is up to you.  God gives us various passions and desires for a reason.  We may not be able to hit up every issue before us but we can focus on the ones that bear witness to our hearts.  Whether that is poverty, race issues, sex trafficking, hunger, clean water, homes, orphanages, keeping babies safe, medical care, overseas, local… the list is as vast as the need.  As Pastor Tommy Barnett says, “Find a need and fill it.”

We can fight the hurt.  We can fight the hate.

But you say, “Who am I?  I am just one woman.”

Did you know it was Christian women who started to speak out against the trans-Atlantic African slave trade and declared that slavery was a sin?**  They were every day women.  They were wives and moms.  They were just like us.  And they made a difference in this world because they fought against the hate.

The book, Refuse to Do Nothing by Shayne Moore & Kimberly McOwen Yim (which I HIGHLY recommend you purchasing), gives a detailed account of how these Christian women became abolitionists.  Refuse to Do Nothing is specific to abolishing modern-day slavery but the tips they give {and I have adapted below from pages 33-34 of their book} can be specific to any area of social injustice you are ready to fight.  How these abolitionist women fought then is the same way you can fight NOW.

  • They prayed. Why?  Prayer is POWERFUL.  It changes things.  The Bible is very specific to this: The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. – James 5:16 NLT
  • They formed sewing circles. They made items to give away to former slaves but they also sold their products to raise money for the cause.  What does that look like now?  What talents do you have that you could use to generate revenue?  Etsy shops filled with your crafts.  Jars of jam to sell at church.  Baking fairs.  GoFUNDme accounts.  There are a million ways to creatively raise money.
  • The created and organized fairs. They wanted to raise awareness.  We can still create events, conferences, afternoon workshops, Facebook groups, or a coffee-time to help educate our friends, family and community.
  • They spread the word through print. They used newspapers and flyers.  We have social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  We can use hashtag campaigns.  We can write articles and op-eds. We can blog.  Information is power.  And these days it is readily available to spread that information.
  • They boycotted products and started petitions. We may or may not necessarily have a product to boycott in our cause but we can start petitions. We can lobby government.  We can have peaceful protests and make our voice count.

Here’s the impact of these steps: People are watching us take a stand and fighting against social injustice.  Our co-workers.  Our kids.  Our friends.  Our family.  Our community.  And it’s teaching them.  We are raising up our communities to help bring help and healing to the world.

Here’s the thing I want you to do today.  What motivates you?  What gets you riled up?  Inequality?  Child labor?  Racial tensions?  Personal liberties?

Take that and make it a passion.  Use it to help change the world.  Be smart.  Learn.  Read.  Teach.  BE PEACEFUL.  And LOVE.  The way to fight against hate is to call it out by name, take action against it but also show the opposite virtue: we show love.

About a year ago, as I walked through the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, I saw a countertop from Greensboro, North Carolina.  It was the Woolsworth lunch counter where back in 1960, 4 young African-American men sat down and asked for service.  When they were denied service, they politely refused to leave.  They just sat.  Their peaceful protest helped was one of many that helped pave a way to racial freedom.  As I stared at the countertop last year, surrounded by hundreds of men and women and children of all ethnicities, I found out at that moment about the horrible murders of 9 African-American victims in a South Carolina church.  Taken from their loved ones by a hate-filled 21 year old boy.  Simply because of the color of their skin.

And now today, over 50 years later, people are still being targeted, simply because of the color of their skin and/or their religious background.

Over fifty years later and we still struggle with the hate.  We still fight.  But we do not give up.  We hold on and we say to hate you have no place here.  And we will fight and pray and teach and learn and grow until you are gone.

Friends, we can’t pretend anymore.  We can’t forget what we’ve seen lately.  And we can’t be afraid to talk about it because we don’t know what to say.  So even though I am just one and not a great representational candidate, I will still speak up and with love.  Can you join with me?  Because your love is bigger than their hate.

**Adated from Refuse to Do Nothing by Shayne Moore & Kimberly McOwen Yim

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