Oh, my, there is so much hate in our world! It is top of mind, of course, because of the shock of last week’s Paris terrorist attacks. But hate is boiling in so many people these days, on so many fronts, that we almost take it for granted…as if hate is normal…as if hate is just fine.
Those of us who are devoted to love as the only force of true change are often accused of being foolish, trite, lofty, or childish. We are considered Pollyannas spouting from ivory towers.
Many years ago, I had a profound dream, one in which an angel came to me and took me on an agonizing but illuminating field trip. He carried me to the scene of a violent rape in progress. I heard, saw, and even smelled the graphic horror playing out in front of me, and I began to feel hate swell up in my chest. I wanted to kill the attacker! I wanted to tear him limb from limb! But I couldn’t move. I could only witness. I asked the angel, furiously, “Why did you bring me here?”
The angel waved his hand in the air in front of me, and suddenly I could see a new dimension – a thick, brown, vibrational ooze coming off the attacker and slithering across the ground toward me. It was as if I were a magnet drawing the rapist’s degenerate energy my way.
The angel spoke: “This is what is meant by deliver us from evil,” he said. “Hate is a virulent infection. Love is both the inoculation and the antidote. Do what must be done to stop evil, to bring justice, to protect the innocent, but do so with love, else you, yourself, will become contaminated.”
I have never forgotten the message of this dream. It is far from Pollyannish to hold on to a sense of love in the face of hate’s potent pull, to allow anger its natural place, without hatred. There is nothing simplistic, trite or childish about it. As a matter of fact, it might just be THE HARDEST THING on the planet to do, requiring warrior-like resolve and a refinement of consciousness that can only be accomplished through a lifetime of prayer, meditation, and forgiveness.
Jesus said, “Love your enemies. Do good to those that persecute you.” It was a shocking idea then, and it still is today… and so seemingly impossible that few of us even try.
I am a long way from victorious on this subject, and I may never be. But I believe, with all my heart, that this is the mandate required to save the world, nevertheless; that the “loftiness” of love must be brought down to earth…in our hearts, in our minds, in our words, in our actions…both proactively, and responsively, in times like these.