This morning, I heard about the Charleston Church Massacre and I felt all sorts of emotions. I grew up going to First Missionary Baptist Church in Selma, North Carolina (FMBC Selma) which is over 100 years old. I would often attend Wednesday night prayer meeting and Bible study so the thought of somebody coming in and doing a similar act to the church that I grew up in simply because the members are black is quite chilling.
I understand that we all have differences, but what I don’t understand is how there are people in this world who hate others so much that they think it is better to harm and kill. Normally, I can attempt to see things from different perspectives, but hate is one that I’m not able to fully comprehend. But it made me think, where does hate come from? We aren’t born hating others.
As a black, college educated, Christian, American, female currently residing in Brazil, I’m sure there are many things that make me different from other people: race, education, religion, nationality, and gender are only a few of the things that I identified. I don’t even know of one person that can say the same thing (although I’m sure there are others). Because somebody isn’t like me doesn’t give me a reason to hate that person.
I’m fortunate to have friends from all over the world, with various levels of education, religious backgrounds and ideas. I think it is beautiful to be able to spend time with people who are not like you and I do believe it is how we can begin to learn to love people who may be different than us. For some, I know it is uncomfortable, but I want to challenge people to interact with somebody who is different than you are. We can learn so much from each other. It doesn’t mean that you have to believe what they think or believe. But what you will see is that you have more in common than what you think. Just imagine how differently the United States would look if we were to do this. Imagine if the world did it!
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” _Mark 12:31
Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. _Romans 13:10
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. _1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. _Ephesians 4:2