A man cannon-balled into the pool, and began a barrage of obscenities loud enough for any of us in a bathing suit to hear. His aggressive verbal vomit continued as he meandered over and chronicled to my husband and me, his paying for women, doing things to women and a description of the pornography he was watching. (Insert big-eyed emoji here).
On a public Facebook page I follow, the author made a broad, yet humbling statement that she hoped to be more empathetic in how she viewed the world and its circumstances. The comments of said post were hijacked by one woman shaming, cursing, and name-calling not only the author, but other commenters in the thread. I clicked on the hijackers profile. She described herself as “Jesus loving.” I couldn’t help but think she didn’t win anyone over in the name of Jesus that day.
In a matter of minutes, it seemed, gay marriage became legal, Bruce Jenner became a woman, the Confederate flag became peoples most prized possession, and Donald Trump put his name in for President, causing just about everyone to explode their opinions by forceful threat all over social media. Haters gonna hate!
I tend to believe that I’m a gracious person. A glass half-full kinda gal. But, with all this, I was ready to swim away, unplug, and lock my doors from the outside world.
Then this happened.
Tracy is our cousin. Dan is a man I have never met. Tracy is black. Dan is white. Both Tracy and Dan are from a neighboring Ferguson, Missouri community. Just recently, Tracy moved because of a new job. Dan, from what I’ve inferred, still lives in his hometown. Obviously, both being invested in what is going on in their community, the above post happened.
Many were quick to come to Tracy’s defense. Many were quick to call Dan out for his actions. I’m certain just as many were as shocked as I to read such an open and public conversation.
My fight or flight instincts kicked in. This was family after all. Once again, it was reaffirmed to me that the world is filled with hateful, mean-spirited and self-centered people. I wanted to swim away. Then, Tracy shared this;
Tracy didn’t fight. Tracy didn’t hide. Tracy reached out in love.
Dan responded with humility and grace. To me, that takes courage.
I was right when I said the world is filled with self-centered people. As a whole, our egos have grown so large that we don’t have a clue how to empathize with our neighbor. We, if we are honest, are all pretty messed up.
I was wrong, however, to want to hide from the madness. Shutting the doors around my family would only have made the world knock louder. I was wrong to think I was right and everyone else was wrong. If you’re being honest, you could probably say the same.
Tracy and Dan reminded me that fighting in anger will only make anger grow. Ignoring ignorance will only add separation. Pointing fingers only paints a bullseye on your own back.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that. -Martin Luther King, Jr.
Only love. Only love can break barriers. Only love can open locked doors. Only love can change the world!
And this is why Love Always Wins.
Let us speak only what needs to be spoken.
Let us listen to the voices that need to be heard.
Let us forgive.
Let us remember that good people have bad days.
Mostly, let us remember that the greatest example of why love wins died on the Cross 2000 years ago.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
*I was given permission to use these posts. Thank you Tracy and Dan for saying what many are too afraid to say.
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