Digging Holes or Building Bridges

I watched it.  I didn’t want to but I could not turn away.

She was 19 years old and her crime was saying she didn’t want to get married.  It doesn’t sound like a crime – at least not here.  Still and yet, this place what she called home had turned its proverbial back and closed the door.  Now the dust of the ground she had long since walked upon gave way to the hole into which she now stood – unable to move.

How do you get there?  In a hole and stuck.

How do you find yourself unwelcomed and alone in the place you call home?

Love doesn’t get you there.

Love would never leave you there.

Sadly, this story doesn’t end with her standing in a hole.  Soon, the circling mob of angry men began picking up rocks and with the aim of hatred threw one after another at her.   I wondered was her father in the crowd?  Her brother?  An uncle? I can’t comprehend the hate that throws the stone or leaves her in the hole. 

Or can I?

I have seen the videos on TV.   I’ve watched a man lying face down and motionless with blood slowly congealing cold on the ground.  I have seen the tears of those left behind and the fear of those who wear a similar skin.

And I ache.

I have seen the news reports of peaceful protests and frenzied riots.  I have listened to those pontificating from their media thrones and watched the spitting vitriol of those demanding retribution.  I have read post after post on Facebook and watched people climb onto the soapbox like a vote grasping politician using generalities as if it was true of the whole.

And I ache.

We are digging holes and the stones are flying.

It isn’t love that got us here.

But it is love that will build the bridge and get us out of here.

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Look, I am not foolish enough to believe that sticking a flower in the gun and saying “give love a chance” will make this world better today.  I don’t have rose colored glasses on.

Sometimes the best love is the tough love.  It is the sit down face to face and talk love.  It is the shut up long enough to listen – really listen – kind of love. 

Love is good when it listens.

It didn’t dig the holes.  Hate did.

It is easy to dig the hole of confusion, misunderstanding and hurt.  It is easy to allow generational and cultural failures to cause the holes to get deeper and deeper.  Sinking us into an abyss of hate and friends, we must recognize the chasm isn’t always seen from the surface.  Its danger lurks beneath each of us and until we own what is ours we will never stop trying to toss someone deeper into theirs.

Love doesn’t throw rocks.  Hate does.

Our words hurl as deadly and sure as a stone itself.  Fueled by the hate they spit it becomes gasoline on a fire.  As fast as Facebook vitriol goes viral the flames of hate burn out of control.  Nothing is left in its ashes – good and bad are gone.    We beg for new growth but new growth will be slow in coming when the heart is scorched.

I don’t want to see more videos of 19 year olds in a hole.  I don’t want to hear more reports of men and women dying in my streets.  I don’t want people to be afraid because of the color of their skin or angry because the color of mine.  I don’t want to pretend it isn’t happening.  I don’t want you to assume I don’t care.  My heart aches for a difference and I don’t know where to begin except on my knees.

It is where I have been.

What I do know is love didn’t get us here but it is the bridge that will get us out because…

Love is good when it listens.

Love is best when it is lived.

 

 

 

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