In the beginning, our home was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters. Our home is more than the earth; our home is also our soul, our inner being. With each beginning, our spirituality is also without form or shape. The darkness hovers over us almost to a point where we feel that we cannot breathe.
As we begin to draw in what feels like our final breath, we reach out at one last chance for life. A mighty wind sweeps in over the waters and acknowledges our cry for help by communicating to us the sacred value of life, not just our life, but all life.
Suddenly, we experience light; for some, it is the first time, and for others, we have lost count. No matter where we are on our journey, this type of experience has a name; grace.
Grace is the gift that is delivered by the divine breath as the words “I love you” are spoken to the “ordinary” just before we reconcile with the source of all inspiration, with ourselves, and with other wounded members of creation.
So how is it that a population of ordinary, friendly people can be pushed to hatred of other ordinary, friendly people by their leaders?
Perhaps the answer to this question lies within the leader’s perception of the “ordinary” person. If the leader perceives “ordinary” as being inferior, this misperception may result in those they influence to view themselves as “extraordinary,” which ultimately leads to a false sense of pride.
Pride can result in greed, which is an incentive to injustice and often cloaks itself as a virtue.When pride and greed come together, they do not lead to some evil, but all evil, which is the birthplace of hatred.
Teilhard de Chardin wrote, “God is not remote from us. He is at the point of my pen, my pick, my paintbrush, my needle, in my heart, and thoughts.” In other words, God resides in the ordinary, which causes the ordinary to be luminous.
But if God is not remote and moves among us, why has it become so easy for people to hate those they know little about or who are different than they are? How can hate exist where the sublime resides?
If we wish to eliminate hate, a change in attitude and tone of conversation is essential, but for this to happen, the conversation must first take place. We must replace hate with understanding, but how can this happen if we do not share who we are, what we love, and what our dreams are. But more importantly, how can we get rid of hate if we do not stop and listen to the one who feels that they can no longer breathe?
A world without hate is within our reach, but it requires us to take a seat and listen deeply to one another without being negatively influenced by any one person. But more so, putting an end to hate requires that we allow the mighty wind to transform our “ordinary” homes with the gift of grace.
Ms Lindy Brasher is a youth minister from Monroe, Louisiana. She recently earned a Master’s degree in Religious Education from Loyola University in New Orleans and is working on a Master’s in Spirituality at Fordham University. She enjoys helping her students care for the poor and vulnerable members of creation as she teaches them the importance of caring for our common home. Lindy can be reached through her email: [email protected]