I was at a protest/counter protest a few weeks back. There was one side with a Black Lives Matter banner and one side with a giant confederate flag. I watched as a woman holding a sign that read “love not hate” screamed in the face of someone holding a flag. I had someone yell in my face that I didn’t love my family. I saw a group of people looking at sides, not each other. In the midst of this and in the days since, I have had a nagging question in my mind: How do I be Jesus in the midst of this?
I am not saying forgive and forget. There are truly damaging things that have been done and those wrongs need to be acknowledged so healing can begin. After all, when the disciples saw Jesus after he rose from the grave he still had the scars from the wounds, yet He still forgave.
We as a church tend to stand around pointing fingers instead of standing between aggressors and trying to bring peace. We need to stop being more concerned with blame than active in reconciliation. As it stands, we have spent the past year pointing fingers at each other for everything that is said and done and not spent time confronting the hate. When I say we need to confront hate, I feel like I need to elaborate. What I mean by confronting hate is not an attempt to redistribute the hate toward the “person in the wrong.” I mean, we are people who claim to follow a Christ who taught sacrificial love as he hung on a cross, giving unasked-for forgiveness to the very people who carried out the forgiven act. We are called to emulate that. We are called to stop throwing rocks, not change where they are aimed. We are to take the damage and hate upon ourselves so others can receive love. Sadly, right now in our country we seem to be feeling like we show love by who we hate. That isn’t what Jesus showed us.
This has all been leading me to wonder lately, what wounds am I willing to take for people to see each other as people and not causes or political parties? Am I willing to be put on a cross for reconciliation?
Luke 6:32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.”