"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing —
to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from —
my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing,
all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back."

~C.S. Lewis


Thursday, April 25, 2013

A hateful love

I shuffled barefooted into the kitchen. Down came the pewter bowl with blue flowers (the pretty one, obviously), filled with the ¼ overripe pear (no throwing away food) and the generic brand shredded wheat (cheapest in the store) and the GoLean Crisp (to pretend I was eating something exotic), because I couldn’t possibly have a normal breakfast. (It was that or eat the frozen vegetables, which I’d been known to do some mornings in my less-awake moments.
But at 7:20 a.m., I’m not thinking about breakfast.

Mostly, I’m thinking about hate.

Not just hate, but hate and anger. The afternoon previous, I listened to a Mark Driscoll sermon: “If you don’t ever get angry, something is wrong with you.”

I pour Almond Breeze (three years old, left over from my family’s acute almond milk craze) on my conglomeration and try to remember the last time I was angry at someone. Hated their actions—beliefs—words. Seething anger, absolute hate.

I couldn’t remember.

The fridge door closes.

I’m ashamed. The depth of my anger, the trueness of my hate, reveals the intensity of my love. The more I love goodness, truth, beauty, and the fight for abundant life, the more I will hate evil, lies, and deception, the more anger I feel at the people and the world and the demonic that seeks the destruction of all that is good and right and pure.

If I have no hate, do I truly love?

Jesus, teach me holy hate, righteous anger. Give them with an intensity that shocks me. Drive me out of neutrality into war; light a fire within me with all the threat of inferno. Don’t let me be a safe person. 

Good, Jesus, but never safe.

Love isn’t always the other side of hate. Sometimes, it’s the same thing.