This morning while I was walking, I was thinking about the question:
Do you hate anyone?
With some of the situations people I listen to are in, it is a fair question, and I thought I knew the answer, but I didn't.
In my mind, hate meant I wanted someone tortured and treated cruelly and I wanted them to go to hell for eternity. You know, HATE.
Suddenly, in jarring clarity, I heard a Voice, not my own, say,
"Hate is when you don't love someone.
Hate is the absense of Love."
Think about that for a moment.
Let it sink in.
If love is working through an argument with someone, is the silence of staying angry or not trying to build the relationship...hate?
If speaking encouragement and life into our kids and responding to them with hugs and assuring pats on the back is love, is withholding kind words and a soft touch...hate?
If helping a tired spouse get the have to do list done is love, is ignoring their fatigue...hate?
If giving encouragement and prayer to our leaders is love, is withholding encouragement and prayers, even if we don't bash them...hate?
Maybe hate isn't a monstrous ferocious beast that carries a torch and screams or throws rocks or bombs. Maybe it is something far more subtle...like simply not being kind when we can, not being encouraging, not giving another car some room to get in when the lane is ending, not giving an appropriate tip at a restaurant, not taking a child's hurt feelings seriously, not listening to our spouse's day, not telling our leaders we appreciate them, not being a light in whatever way we can when teh world gets dark for someone.
If hate is the absence of love, then is not choosing to respond with love, even small acts of it, choosing to let hate have room to plant seeds and destroy our relationships, families, communities, and nations?
My pondering place today...
--Jerri L. Kelley--