What happened in Charleston is scary. Downright horrifying. What happened is hate personified. Hate, thought on, stewed over, allowed to grow until killing someone seems like the best option. I am unable to imagine what that kind of hate feels like, when hate becomes what motivates you to wake up in the mornings. I pray for Dylann Roof and others like him to be released from that deep tavern of hatred, to be released from the darkness of hate. Because here’s the thing: when has hatred been enough? When has hatred been enough to satisfy anyone? Your job will never be done. There will always be one more person, one more thing, one more…one more. As Dylan Roof stood in front of the judge, I can promise you it was not a face of contentment, satisfaction. It was the face of a terrified child, with empty eyes and empty yes-sir’s and no-sir’s. His hate and subsequent hateful act was not satisfying. Momentary? Perhaps. Long term? Not a chance.
Certainly we all have had things happen in our life where hate was a choice. Circumstances that we could stew on, replay over and over in our minds, build walls with. I guess we all get to make that decision at some point in our lives. Hate or love? In my life, I choose love. There is no “one more” in my life. That is a choice that I make each day. At the end of each day, I don’t go to bed with angst or hate thoughts in my head. Do things make me sad or mad? Yes. Do people make me sad or mad? Yes. Do people’s choices leave me feeling heartbroken? All the time. But what is my go to? Love. Not hate. Love is all I can give, it is all my heart has room for.
So what now? Love. Love other people. Spread seeds of caring, understanding, compassion. Love each other with forgiveness, grace and peace. Hate only spurs on more hate. If I have a choice to spread love or hate, I choose love. Always.