Over the past week, America has literally been in flames. What began as peaceful protests has catapulted into a warzone. In Manhattan, hundreds of looters ransacked stores, the National Guard was deployed, and dozens of cities declared overnight curfews. Clearly, there is a lot of politics involved, but this doesn’t diminish the pain or the scale of the problem.
America has already had an Afro-American president, Afro-American governors, Afro-American judges, sports stars, and icons of all sorts. Legally, there are no preventions standing in the way of any person of color to occupy any position. Yet, there is no peace, no peace of mind, and no love. The chasm is not only present, it is ever deepening.
Love doesn’t mean covering our differences and denying their existence. Love is about cultivating and emphasizing all the subtleties of our uniqueness, but not in order to compete or arouse envy. We should use our differences as building blocks to construct bridges of affection. Differences should never be used to increase pride or conceit.
It is written, “Love will cover all crimes” (Prov 10:12). The crime is hatred among people. Yet, hatred is a necessary element. Just as without the night we would not know when it is day, without hate we cannot know when there is love. Because of it, hate enables the existence of love. Moreover, the deeper the darkness of hatred, the brighter the light of love that follows.
America is full of hatred. It is built from layers upon layers of hatred. Yet, this is exactly why America has the potential to become a role model, a world leader in rising above differences and hatred.
Nature didn’t create us different for no reason. There is a special intention here, a purpose. Anyone who ever studied nature’s ways knows that no part of it, not even the tiniest iota, is redundant. Nothing should be eradicated or erased from the world, except for pride and separation. So trying to blur one’s unique skin color or other physical, mental, or emotional attributes is like saying that nature made a terrible error and it’s our job to fix it. There is so much ignorance and hubris in such thinking.
We must relate to what nature has created as a given that we work with progress toward correction, and the correction is in the relationships between us—the only place where there is a flaw. Let’s learn what love means and what it can do with our given attributes. Let’s learn how it “disarms” our egos and our foolish pride, how it brings us closer while exposing every bit of our uniqueness, and how it joins our differences into a perfect whole.
Everything is burning now in America; it is difficult to hear a delicate message of love beyond the smashing shopwindows and glee-filled hollers. Yet, if we do not hear it, the wave will pass and matters will resume an air of normalcy, but the hate will not vanish. It will strike again with even more ferocity because we haven’t treated it; we haven’t tended to the hatred that is fueling it.
Perhaps when we find ourselves embroiled once more in a civil war, the anguish and distress will open our ears and hearts to hear the message. Maybe then we will accept that being different is a blessing when we want to unite in love, and the only curse is the hatred in our hearts.
[Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash]