Last week was one for the books. On Wednesday night, I was hoping for a do-over. By Thursday, I didn’t want a do-over anymore, because I just wanted to forget the week even happened. I went to bed Friday night feeling sorry for myself and exhausted. Saturday morning, the news of the Tree of Life Synagogue shootings put everything into perspective.
I have a dear friend who fears for her children’s lives daily because they attend a private Jewish school. Not in the way we all worry about our kids safety. She has very real fears based on very real statistics. Statistics that grew on Saturday.
Suddenly, my reflection on my week changed. It wasn’t about how I missed a parent teacher conference, or how I forgot Hudson’s school was dressing up for Red Ribbon Week. It wasn’t about the two crockpots of soup I made for teachers and accidentally dropped off at the wrong school or the fact that my basement flooded with 25 kids at my house for a halloween party.
It was about how I have happy, healthy kids who are doing very well in school. (Something I found out in the rescheduled conference.) It was about meeting some of my kids’ new friends and working together with the sweet parents who didn’t think twice about getting on the floor with towels to help mop up water. (I still feel stupid about the soups, but I have to let that go.)
I could stop here with, “I’m feeling blessed in the face of tragedy,” but that would be the wrong conclusion. I’ve concluded that we live in an age where politics and separation have worked as a bellows to grow a raging fire of hate. People are afraid to “get political” but I’m not afraid to say that I will speak out against hate.
If I’m a Christian and I don’t speak out when hate wins, I’m condoning it. I want my Jewish brothers and sisters to feel safe going to Synagogue and school and work. I still remember being exposed to holocaust literature for the first time in middle school. I never thought I’d see a day where people forgot the atrocities that happened in Europe. I never thought it would be considered “too political” to say that the guys with swastikas are the bad guys.
I know this post isn’t like my others, but I couldn’t be “business as usual” this time. I’m scared. I didn’t just read holocaust literature in middle school. I’ve read quite a bit since then. And I always find myself thinking, “How did they allow this to happen?” In the past year or so, I've realize how. It wasn’t one big decision, but millions of tiny ones. Times when people should have stopped and said, “No! I won’t allow this to happen.” But instead they said nothing because they didn’t want to be seen as getting political or taking a side. Well, I’m taking a side. I’m on the side of love. And love doesn’t allow hate to win.