I have this quote on my twitter bio that says “There isn’t a person you wouldn’t love if you could read their story.” Even though I love the quote, there are some days that I have a really hard time believing it.
When I look at my newsfeeds I see stories of hatred. I see stories of violence. I see stories of fear. Stories of sexism, homophobia, racism. It feels like people are screaming out stories of darkness with a megaphone, and it makes it so difficult for me to even begin to love them.
Some days I don’t even want to know their stories; I don’t even want to give them a chance. I don’t like the stories that I see from people, and it’s really, really hard to love them. I don’t like the stories I see in myself, and it’s really really hard to love myself.
But still I do believe that every story is important, now more than ever. We need to listen to each other and learn our stories … even the people we don’t like. Their stories matter. My story matters. Your story matters. In every fiber of my being I believe this to be true. Why? Because my God tells me so.
My God says that His story is so big that it can redeem our stories. He steps into our past and fills our world with grace. He is the only one who can take evil and turn it into something beautiful.
I think in this time I’m looking for hope … and what hope means right now is understanding that there is a greater story. There is something bigger than me. There needs to be a bigger narrative arch than what I can see at the present moment. Now more than ever we can’t give up.
Obama said yesterday in response to the shooting in Baton Rouge “It is so important that everyone, regardless of race or political party or profession … focus on words and actions that can unite this country rather than divide it even further.” And he’s exactly right. We don’t need more darkness. We don’t need more hate. What we need right now is to learn each other’s stories with empathy …. Even when we really don’t want to.
I think that stories, empathy, and love is the recipe for hope.
Picture: Unsplash / Pixabay.com