It’s been said that on the walls of Mother Teresa’s room was a version of “The Paradoxical Commandments” of Dr. Kent Keith.
His commandments remind us that “The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.” I wonder if he meant the words “shot down” literally?
Because today in my community, that happened. A gunman entered a church and started shooting. Many people are dead, more are wounded. What is also wounded is my ability to “love them anyway.”
That’s it. No more. I will work on “loving anyway,” but loving doesn’t mean I stand by while others are abused. I’m ashamed to admit, that I’ve done that. I’ve been loathe to confront my elders or people I overhear in a restaurant. I’m not confrontational by nature. But I need to learn.
Every hateful, bigoted thing that I see posted on Facebook by “friends,” every ignorant, racist comment made by acquaintances, must be addressed and rooted out. They don’t know any better? Then I’ll take it upon myself to educate them and quick. Because this ignored or dismissed hatred is festering and growing throughout our country, eroding the very principles on which we were founded.
“Love them anyway” may have to be some pretty tough love for a while.
In the meantime, I will continue to pray for the people in that temple, their families outside, the law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day and for all of us.
Because heaven knows we need it.