First, right up front – let me be clear; this is not a political post or agenda trying to get a certain view across. It is the farthest thing from that so please, if you are able, receive it in the heart it is written. Second, it is observation and a conversation that ensued from that observation. Third, it has been on my heart for weeks now so I finally decided to share.
As Jen and I was walking with the kids in our neighborhood, I noticed a yard sign that read, “Hate has no home here” with an American flag in the shape in of a heart. It also had multiple languages underneath it which I assumed meant the same thing. That is the first time I had seen or heard of that sign (another reason this is not a political post and I have waited to write).
Here is the conversation that ensued (paraphrased of course):
Me: Do you think that is an anti-trump sign?
Jen: Not sure but probably.
Me: Do you really think hate doesn’t live there?
Jen: What do you mean?
Me: I mean, it is a great sign – catchy theme, heart shaped flag. I like it. It is even Biblical b/c we do not want to hate our neighbor or those God brings across our path. We are commanded to love – love God first and then others as ourselves. Heck, all the other commandments hinge on these two. Is the sign true? If it is an anti-trump sign; should it not read, ‘Hate does not live here (except toward one person).’ Wouldn’t that make it more accurate – more honest?
Jen: Probably but who is going to put that sign in their yard?
Then as we continue to walk, another voice joins in. It is that of our 10 yr old.
Eilam: That sign, said, “Hate does not live in that house.” What does that mean and why don’t all the houses have that sign?
Jen: That sign is saying, we do not treat people differently based on their color, where they came from or who they are? It means we treat people equally with kindness and to show love whenever we can. The other houses I am sure do not have hate in them either just decided to not buy a sign.
Eilam: Well, we do not want hate to live in our home either.
Me: Yep. You are correct buddy. We want to love others as best we can.
We continued to enjoy our family walk but essentially that was the end of conversation.
That may have been the end of conversation but not the end of my thoughts. I decided to go and read about the ‘Hate has no home here’ sign (movement if you will). I not only looked on the website but also on their facebook page and a few other links I came across. Many, many kind & generous words/actions I found about loving our neighbors and treating others with equality. On the website, it is plainly stated that this is a non-partisan movement bringing hope to people & neighborhoods which I found refreshing. However, what I found interesting, is that many of the posts I read that pictured ”Hate has no home here” also had a very anti-trump sentiment feel to them, even stating the sign helps make a stand against His intolerance, bigotry and hate speech.
As I sat and thought about my conversation on our family walk & what I read, I heard a question in my spirit: “Do you have hate in your home?” My initial response was, of course not! Our home is loving, welcoming and open. Then a little deeper it went:: ‘Not your physical home per say, but your spiritual home (your heart)?” So, I have been pondering that question for myself. You see, It starts with me and my home. I cannot control what my neighbor does, thinks or says but I can control what I do, how I speak and act. So, do I say (either within myself or with a sign) I love everyone but if honest, there are those few or maybe just one I do not agree with, can’t get along with , think differently from and possibly harbor bitterness, anger or envy against. For myself, I have to ask; if there is just one, can I truly say, ‘Hate has no home here?”
And a thanks to those who created the sign b/c without it; I would not have had that specific opportunity to chat with my wife and child nor would I have sat & read thus prompting a search of my own heart. So I will continue to search those deeper parts of my heart because from the heart flows the springs of life and what my mouth speaketh forth (Luke 6:45 & Prov. 4:23). My prayer for myself (and you) is that our heart will continually grow & change as we recognize/experience the depth, intimacy and reality of His love and as that happens, we will be able to say with all confidence: Love does trump hate!