IMG_7221On mornings like these, I find myself longing to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head to hide ostrich-style from clanging noise called HATE. So many days I can ignore it like radio static in the background. But other days, like today, it roars making sure I know its power.

I want to say to Jesus, “Come away with me, let’s get away from all this noise. It’s more than I can stand. I just need you.” And you know what? He’ll meet me there because that is the kind of God He is. But you know what else? I’ll miss something important hidden away.

Psalm 34:18- The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Where is God in the midst of all the hate, chaos, pain, brokenness? He is close. He is near. He is leaning in, not away.

Sometimes I shake my head at our obsession with creating legislation in response to all the hate. Can you do that? Can you outlaw hate? I know, I know, laws are important. I’m not trying to negate that, but a law in and of itself cannot change the human heart. It can’t delete hate.

You know what does make a difference in the human heart? Relationship. What does the Lord do in response to broken hearts? He leans in. He seeks relationship.

I’m going to be real right here in case there is anyone else out there with similar tendencies. I’m a straight, Christian, white girl.  I have a tendency to subconsciously lean away from certain people groups based on what I perceive those other people groups think about me. My mind says, “That person  thinks I hate them because of my ethnicity or my beliefs. I think they might hate me.” So my knee-jerk reaction is to lean away from that. I’ll live and let them live, but I don’t want to seek a relationship with someone who thinks I hate them before they ever know me. It’s too uncomfortable.

That is a symptom of living in a world full of brokenness. What is my challenge? Lean in, not away. As it is with a relationship with Jesus, the other person doesn’t have to accept my offer of relationship if they truly feel the way I perceive them to, but my response is not to pull back. That choice is left to the other person.

What will be your response to all the hate? Will you choose a side and get angry? Will you hide? What if you find a way to lean in and build a relationship instead of a wall? Do you believe that relationships can change the human heart?

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