Instead of lashing out, reach out with love
September 4, 2019
Some things just don’t make sense.
Oysters, for example. I can’t imagine who might have cracked open one of those “delicacies” and thought eating it was a good idea.
I suppose we could say the same for clams. There is a world of difference between delicious deep-fried clams or clam cakes (a personal favorite), and oozy clams on the shell.
Same for okra. Foodstuffs shouldn’t have a slime factor. I’m told that if you fry okra properly, there isn’t a slime factor.
Sadly, my first use of okra in anything was a gumbo. The photo in the cookbook was gorgeous; the end result was a real slime fest.
Clearly, I did something wrong. After dissecting the recipe trying to figure out where I went wrong, I just chalked it up to a personal distaste for food that pack slime. And I moved on.
There are other things that don’t make sense that are more difficult from which to move on.
Attacking someone for their beliefs comes to mind. It seems to be a thing of the past to have conversations, even spirited debates, about anything of substance. I’m not sure when disagreeing with someone became a bad thing. We’re not sheep; we disagree. We discuss. We learn and move on.
Attacking someone because they are of a different political persuasion is another. People throw ugly names at folks for being Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives. I think they forget that we’re neighbors, that we belong to one another.
Belittling someone for their life choices, especially when they differ from ours, is another. Belittling someone for the color of their skin, the size of their wallet, their religion all fit in this category. Those differences make for an interesting hodgepodge of humanity.
What has happened in our society that it’s OK to lash out at those who are different from us?
The truth is that all of us at one time or another aren’t as lovable as we could be. We may lose our patience and say things we don’t mean because we’re upset or tired or stressed. We may act out of character for any number of reasons. When we are at our most unlovable … for whatever reason … our own hodgepodge of humanity loves us in spite of ourselves. And in that, we experience grace.
What if we extended that grace to others, and instead of lashing out for all the ways in which we differ, we extend a hand of love? That might be an easier thing for us to do if we remember that — when we weren’t so lovable ourselves, our people extended a loving hand to us. Right when we needed it most.
Patti Dobson writes about faith for The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact her at: