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CAROL SHIRK KNAPP Contributing Writer
September 1, 2021 1: 00 AM
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my 10-year-old grandson's story sword that could disintegrate every living thing it touched. He was using the idea to get rid of the bad guys.
I told him I wished there was a weapon to disintegrate rage and hate — and concluded love is that “weapon.”
That sounds so unrealistic with suicide bombers attacking our troops — and their fellow Afghans — last week. How can love plow through a lifetime of hate. That's some unforgiving bitter soil.
Jesus dealt with this among His band of 12. He had sent them out on their own, giving them power to heal the sick and proclaim “the kingdom of God.” They were so successful — even commanding dark powers — they thought they were invincible.
When they were all back together, and traveling with Jesus through a village in Samaria that refused them welcome because they were Jews, these young men were ready for some extreme action. They asked, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”
It was their equivalent of dropping bombs — just 20 centuries early. And for what — because they'd not been welcomed by people who held a deep prejudice toward them. Obviously, they didn't have a long memory for what they'd just been doing — telling others of God's love.
It's notable that Jesus rebuked them. His reason — He was about saving lives, not destroying them.
The Taliban and ISIS, and others, want to destroy any who either don't believe their ideology, or who step outside it. They see these “infidels” as enemies who must be crushed.
Jesus lived the opposite saying “love one another,” and “love your enemies.” I'm with everyone who wants the bad guys gone. Save our soldiers, save the Afghan allies, save the innocents.
Where can love make, or have made, a difference in this unfolding tragedy? Firstly, children don't hate on their own — they're taught it. It's modeled for them. I've written of visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and seeing the Third Reich children's book “The Poisonous Mushroom,” whose stem is an exaggerated face of a Jew with the mushroom cap being a hat.
What if being loved and learning to love could begin in every child's childhood. Would terrorism — and other evils — even find ground to grow.
Secondly, I ask myself is it right for me — an adult — to return hate for hate. To hate someone else because they hate — a glaring hypocrisy easily slipped on. Frankly I need a strength beyond mine to route myself toward love in situations like these.
Love is the most forgotten, unrecognized, unused, scorned, and abandoned effective weapon there is. Our earth needs it desperately and God is eager to grant that power. Love the hate out of the world? I can start right where I am.
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