A restaurant owner refuses to serve the White House Press Secretary and her friends, and people cheer: “Serves them right! If a baker can refuse to bake a cake for religious and moral convictions, then a restaurant owner can refuse to serve an entrée for religious and moral convictions! If they can be ugly, then we can be ugly! We have to fight fire with fire!”
But as my mother taught me a long time ago: “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” And “an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.”
Besides that, being more ugly never produces beautiful results. Things can get out of hand. And a fire that gets out of hand can destroy everything.
Rev. Dr. Martin Martin Luther King Jr. prophetically said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
But you say, “Being calm doesn’t work! Being moderate isn’t helping! Being civil doesn’t change anything!”
I am not advocating calmness, moderation or civility. I am advocating being fired-up and fuming…with love. I am advocating being radical and uncompromising…with love. When it comes to love, I am advocating being revolutionary!
For I believe that passionate, intemperate and inclusive love has the power to change the world.
We can be angry. We should be angry. Anytime someone hurts any of God’s children, love should rile us up like a mother bear robbed of her cubs (Hosea 13:8).
In responding to extreme evil, we can be extreme. But we must always go in the opposite direction. We must fight extreme meanness with extreme kindness; extreme callousness with extreme empathy; extreme indifference with extreme love.
With the Apostle Paul, I believe love bears all things. It is courageous and generous. It is self-expending and sacrificial. It bends over backwards. It is always willing to go out of its way, take an extra step, even walk an extra mile. Love believes all things. It always looks for the good, for the very best in the other, even if that best is sometimes buried deeply or covered completely. It is positive and encouraging. Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, and no fading of its hope. Love wins.
While some refuse to bake a cake or cook a steak for their enemies, we gladly serve our enemies the best cake and steak they have ever eaten.
While some childishly hurl harassing and dishonest insults at their opposition, we engage in respectful and truthful conversation with all people.
While some rule with threats and intimidation, we lead with service and compassion.
While some indoctrinate and propagate a fear of the other that brings out the worst in people, we teach the beauty of diversity that encourages the image of God that is in all people to break out.
While some take the low road, we take the high road. And we take it all the way.