Don't Let Hate Win

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So…I woke up this morning super eager to share someone else’s story! Only no one has responded to my invitation!!! (grrrrr!)  And I really, desperately, want to write something that will encourage people to look past their own hurt and see the hurts that people around them are feeling. I immediately went from super pumped to super discouraged (cause that’s what I do!)[spacer height="10px"] I began to sort of pray but mostly whine in my head. I really had all of these great intentions…I whined and complained and said, “hey God, I’m trying and it’s not working.” I didn’t really want to listen for an answer because I really liked my plan and the answer I wanted was God to change reality! Which sounds totally stupid when I write it, but perfectly fine in my head at 6:00 am![spacer height="10px"] Since I wasn’t listening to God, I turned to my other source of inspiration, my phone. I checked all of my messages and then scrolled through Facebook. My memory for the day was the picture that you see below (hopefully). (It is a picture of the Bible verse “Love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins”) love-each-other I painted that Bible verse on the wall of one of our bedrooms after a young man that we were trying to help moved out. He hated our family and he covered that wall with insults about everyone in my family. He tried to think of the most hurtful thing he could say about each one of us and then wrote it in huge letters, accentuated with as much profanity as he could fit in there all across the walls I had just painted especially for him. I remember standing there looking at what he wrote and sobbing. It tore me up that anyone could think such awful things about people I loved. I knew my sons had bent over backwards trying to help this young man. They loved him like a brother and he was calling them #$%@%, and *&^%#. And my husband, who had given up advancements in his career so we could stay in this house and help this young man, he was the recipient of the most insults. [spacer height="10px"] At first, I cried for my family and how angry I was that anyone could say such terrible things about people that I love. Then I cried for this young man who was so misguided in his thinking that he was missing out on knowing these amazing people that would have always loved him like family. I stood there in that room with all of those insults and I prayed. Then I heard a small voice in my head saying, “Don’t let hate win. Don’t let this be what you remember.”[spacer height="10px"] So, I quickly went to my basement and found the leftover paint from where I had painted the room a month earlier and I painted over the wall. In less than an hour, those words were gone forever. Except they were still in my memory. I didn’t know what to do with my memory. I kept hearing “Don’t let hate win…” but I didn’t know how to quit focusing on the hurt, anger, and the rage I felt from these insults.quiet-time As I normally do when I’m losing it, I sat down and journaled then I said, “so God, what are you going to do with this?” and the verse, “Love covers a multitude of sins” came to mind. I decided to focus on that verse every time I started to feel any anger. I went to the wall and I painted that verse on the wall and I moved a comfortable chair into the room and I used the room as a place to pray.[spacer height="10px"] I have done a lot of healing and growth since that time but I still go to that wall and pray. I pray for all kinds of people that hurt me and my family. I pray the absolute best for the young man who wrote those horrible things on the wall so long ago.[spacer height="10px"] And I pray for our nation. I have often heard it said that hurt people hurt people and I believe that is what is happening. I try to write and encourage from the middle because that is where I stand. I get hurt from both sides. When I try to defend either side to the other, I am told “yes, but you don’t understand what they did.” I have been writing heartfelt pleas and begging people to see that both sides are full of people. And those people have stories that are all over the place in their differences. But the hurt is real, it is deep and it doesn’t go away just from talking.[spacer height="10px"] You need to stand at my wall and pray for those that hurt you. You need to let love cover a multitude of sins. You need to be healed and offer healing.[spacer height="10px"] Here is my challenge to you:* Take a piece of paper, (or two or ten) and write out all of the hurtful things that people have done and said towards you. (Focus on actual people, not the media, that’s a whole different beast!) Just free write every single thing that you can think of. Take as much time and paper as you need![spacer height="10px"] Then write in large letters over a whole sheet, “Love covers a multitude of sins!” I know, if you are like me, then you are probably thinking, “that’s the corniest thing I’ve ever heard! That’s not going to help anything. I’m angry and people are real jerks. They DESERVE my anger.”[spacer height="10px"] And you are absolutely right! I 100% agree. There are people on both sides that are complete jerks that don’t deserve to be forgiven...

But then I think about that Bible verse which I shared. It was written by Peter. He was writing to Christians who had fled their homes because of persecution,( as in being killed for being a Christian). Peter was writing to these Christians who had seen their family members and friends get killed, probably because of insane outrage from the cruel emperor Nero.1 The story goes that Nero somehow managed to burn down a whole town and then blamed it on Christians. And as people like to do (shocker!) when they are hurt by something, they loved assigning blame to one group of people, because hate feels like a way to control chaos. So Romans began torturing and killing Christians. Peter wrote to encourage these scattered Christians. As they met, fearing for their lives, I can’t imagine how they felt reading Peter’s words. I’m sure that they longed for revenge and to know that their deep hurt mattered. And Peter said to love deeply for love will cover a multitude of sins…[spacer height="10px"] So, yeah! I do believe that when we pray, and we love those that disagree with us, we can cover over all of the damage and hurt that have taken place in our country. I believe we can heal! And I believe LOVE WILL WIN![spacer height="20px"] Be blessed my friends! We are truly better together!!! Cindy 1http://biblehub.com/library/pamphilius/church_history/chapter_xxv_the_persecution_under_nero.htm * If you take me up on this, PLEASE share! If you live in Rhode Island, please contact me and let’s go out for coffee and let me share your story!!!!!