Love Your Neighbor Anyway

The wind is blowing fiercely as I write this.  The air is swirling about with anger and power.  It subsides for a moment.  Then it starts back up.  These happenings hit us like a tornadic wind; they blow about, knock things over, disrupt our daily life.  We complain about the debris in our eyes, the sandy slap against our cheeks, this uncontrollable force that gales in and destroys.  In the subsided silence we stop and try to patch the things that have been broken.  The shingles have blown off and we’re left wondering how to go about repairs.

I think this is where we are, as a nation, today.  We are trying to pick up the pieces after an alarming nightclub killing spree in Orlando.  As Amarillo residents, we try to learn about the man who took hostages at our Walmart yesterday and we cry out for the families who lost loved ones in a gang-related shooting at our local park.  Like the wind, these happenings blow in unannounced, then leave us with the aftermath.

But we’re due for more wind next week.  We can’t possibly control it-can we?  In today’s atmosphere, it appears that a driving force behind the wind that blows through our lives and demolishes hope is hatred.  Hate is strong.  Inextricably strong.

MY humble suggestion is to stop the hate with the power of love.  You hate your neighbor because he’s gay?  Well maybe he hates you because you’re using too much water in your yard during a drought.  Both of you-get over yourselves.  Oh, what was that?  You’re a Christian and the gay neighbor isn’t?  So what.  Didn’t Jesus say, “Love your neighbor as yourself”?  The Bible doesn’t say, “Love your neighbor as yourself-unless he’s gay,” or “love your neighbor as yourself-unless he’s breaking city water codes.”  Love your neighbor anyway.

Just because a person doesn’t fit into the paradigm of what YOU THINK is right or good, doesn’t mean they’re not.  Muslims-not all of them are out to kill every last American.  Christians-not every one of them hates gays.  Gays-they’re not all pedophiles.  Blacks-they’re not all gang members.  Mexicans-they’re not all illegal immigrants looking for a free hand-out.  Native Americans-they’re not all lazy drunks.  These are all stereotypes that are ludicrous to anyone who PERSONALLY knows a Muslim, a Christian, a homosexual, an African-American, a person from Mexico, a Cherokee.

So what if a a guy who identifies with being a woman wants to wear dresses and use the women’s bathroom?  So what if your local butcher thinks vegetarians are stupid?  So what if your Jewish uncle doesn’t believe Jesus was the messiah?  So whatMY question is this:  Is that person harming another person with these actions or beliefs?  If the answer is “No”, then does it matter?  Drop your swords and call a truce.  Agree to disagree.  Your sexual orientation, religion, your eating habits, your heritage-none of this should be getting in the way of a potentially great friendship.  If everyone would just quit pushing their own agendas and take their heads out of their asses long enough to look at the person sitting next to them as human beings, maybe there would be more love to go around. If you’re so closed-minded that you can’t get over the differences you may have with another person, then fine.  Don’t be friends.  It’s really that easy.  Just don’t hang out.

But, I believe you are missing out not only on a potential relationship, but also a chance to see the world differently.  I’m not saying that you have to agree on everything, but at least practice being a good listener.  You might be surprised.  I believe that LOVE is bigger than hate.  I believe LOVE IS BIGGER THAN HATE.

Martin Luther King Jr quote square

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2 thoughts on “Love Your Neighbor Anyway

  1. Thank you for sharing your heart. Thank you for practicing what you preach. Thank you for being willing to share and help and love

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