“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
Hate is the harvest of a selfish heart. The anger that precedes hate arises out of frustration when men and women place their complete trust in fallible individuals who fail them in their leadership. When a pot of water is about to boil over one reduces the heat rather than increases it. When the unfathomable happens common sense insists that cooler heads prevail. Knee-jerk emotional reaction before the facts are known can only place one on a road that leads to no good end. No one truly knows what is in the heart of our leaders or any individual. Whether their goal is to serve self or to serve others. But a tree is known by its fruit. If the goal is to serve self then the goal will not foster fruitful love, but barren hate. A Native American sage once said: “In every person’s heart there are two dogs fighting. One good and one evil. The one that is fed the most wins.”
“What’s wrong with the world is the devil. What’s right with the world is God.” – G.K. Chesterton
No one of us comes into this world to die. We come into it to live. Nor is one destined to murder or to be murdered. The former does so by choice, the latter has it chosen for him. The only One who came into this world to die was Christ. Death to any of us is an accident of life. For Christ death was an intent. His sacrifice purchased for us forgiveness, the remedy to sin, and re-opened the gates to Paradise for those who aspire to the perfection of truth through following His way that leads to life everlasting. Those who accept this infallible reality and hold fast to it will not be susceptible to hate.
The tragic events in Dallas Texas that took the lives of five Dallas police officers and wounded seven others was an act of hatred born of selfishness. Such an act as this is evil for it takes life when not in direct defense of life. The only just war is one fought in defense; whether between nations or individuals. When the shots rang out at the end of a peaceful protest rally, as inherent instinct would dictate, people ran away from the threat knowing full well that evil was in their midst and that what follows evil is death; be it of body, soul or both. The officers, by professional instinct and strength of character, put themselves between the threat and vulnerable people that they have sworn to protect until those people were a safe distance away. Then these police officers rushed toward the threat. Not to embrace evil, but rather to stop it. Always in such calls to duty their lives are on the line. And in this instance evil staked a claim; but, as always, fails to win in the end.
So long as there is hatred in any heart there will be occasion for tragic events. There will be the ongoing conflict between perpetrator and victim; evil and good. And in between the two are the police.
The Policeman stood and faced his God, Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining as brightly as his brass.
“Step forward now, officer. How shall I deal with You?
Have you always turned the other cheek? To my Church have you been true?”
The officer squared his shoulders and said, “No, Lord, I guess I ain’t.
Cause those of us who carry badges can’t always be a saint.
But I never took a penny that wasn’t mine to keep,
Though I worked a lot of overtime when the bills just got too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help, though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me, I wept unmanly tears.
I know I don’t deserve a place among the people here.
They never wanted me around except to calm their fear.
If you’ve a place for me here, Lord, it needn’t be so grand.
I’ve never expected or had too much. But if you don’t, I’ll understand.”
There was silence all around the throne where the saints had often trod.
As the officer waited quietly for the answer of his God.
“Step forward now, Officer, you’ve borne your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven’s Streets. You’ve done your time in Hell.”
“In the end it comes down to good and evil, light and darkness. We have to choose a side.” – G.K. Chesterton
No matter how difficult, even under the gravest of circumstances, one must restrict anger to keep at bay the fraudulent consequences of hate. For only through the certainty of truth can justice be acquired, mercy be granted, and the open wound of division be healed.