In recent days I have come in contact with a form of hate that should have been gone long ago. I will not go into great detail here, that will come in story form later, but what I will say right here and now is that there is simply no place in our world for hate.
There has been a lot of soul searching and reflecting over the last few weeks and an immersion into some good preaching, and the sabbatical from me being in this place every week is now over.
The answers seem so simple, but many still struggle.
In our world today, we hate wearing masks, we hate social distancing, and we hate not being able to be where we want to be and do the things we want to be doing. Perhaps we have taken our freedoms for granted, I don’t know. But, what I do know is we do all of these things to protect ourselves, but more so to protect those around us.
We must find a way to get through this pandemic, and that way must be based in love and understanding.
Let me start with this.
For many years, those closest to me have heard me utter the words, “I hate doctors and the medical profession as a whole.” That hatred was born of years of watching my wife suffer, and seeing that suffering come at the hands of doctors that simply didn’t care. Their so-called oath seemed to be thrown out with the trash, as she endured so much that was unnecessary.
In my eyes still, it was that uncaring that ultimately cost me my precious Patty Jean, cost my kids their mother, my grandkids their Grammy, and her family their daughter and sister.
I found it easy to hate the ones that I deemed put her through that suffering, but I know now that hating the few gave me no cause to hate them all, or even the ones I did so vehemently.
Reflecting on my statement of hate, I was such a narrow-minded idiot.
How could I say I hate doctors and the profession, when I know so many good ones, and call them my friend. There is Dr. Andrew Minigutti, who treated Patty for more than a decade, and who I credit for keeping her alive a lot longer than she would have been. He re-trained his staff to treat her, he often treated her without charge, and he became our friend. He still is mine, and I value that friendship greatly.
There is Dr. Kyle Groom, and Leann, who also did much to help Patty, once coming from dinner to our home, with no purpose other than to help a friend. Kyle and Leann do so much for our community, there is absolutely no way I could ever use the word hate, in a sentence about them.
Then, there are the multitude of nurses that I know, who have devoted their lives to helping people, often times without the gratitude that they so richly deserve. There is Ashley, my angel nurse, who is soon to be a mother, there is Cassie Hausler, Erica Gibson, Amanda Shimpock, and so many others that I know personally. And now, there is Tay Reed, who enters the nursing profession with the kind and caring heart she has always had, and is a necessary requirement for being a good nurse. She will be one, I know this without a doubt.
So, how could I possibly hate all doctors and the whole profession, I simply cannot, and don’t, and I offer this as my apology to all of them, for my severely obtuse statements of the past.
Back to the recent events, the Word of God has flowed from pastors near and far to reach inside me, with messages that we all need to plant inside. Messages of hope, truth, and grace, the elements we need so badly in our society today. Pastor Robert Madu implored us to lean on seeking justice and sharing it with others, local Pastor Michael Henry II preached words of encouragement and told us all that we should not erase our pasts, but rather, use it to remind us of where we need to be going, and Steven Furtick echoed the words that we need to balance our lives with a measure of truth that is balanced with grace. For everyone that we deal with in our lives.
Hate has no place in my world, or yours. It has no place in our homes and should not be in such a place of prominence in our lives that it influences our children, that watch every move we make. If we don’t stop the hate, it will just continue to the next generation.
Much like our schools have Zero Tolerance policies, I submit to you that we, as adults, should render a Zero Tolerance policy of hate. If we don’t allow it in our lives, maybe we can stop it, not for our generation, but for the next and the next and the next.
“You cannot pray for someone and hate them at the same time. Even if you are asking God to restrain their evil actions, you should also be praying that He will change their hearts.”—Rev. Billy Graham
Zero Tolerance of hate. I am all in.