Hate In The Time Of Covid.

Me.

Me, who hears your anger.

Me, who hears your dogma and certainty and outrage.

Me, who watches as you assign blame for this nation’s devolution.

Me, who sees the objects of your wrath:  the people with names and faces and value in God’s eyes; the people you used to care about, but have dehumanized now. They are …

Me.

Me, who reads the articles and watches the videos you share. Propaganda pieces created by people that you think are your peers, your tribe, your team.

Me, who knows that propaganda machine doesn’t care about me and they don’t care about you. That giant, cruel machine is effective and determined to divide, to incite rage, to invent targets, and justify the incited anger at those targets,. It seeks to ruin and slander and win and destroy innocent lives.

Me, who reads your posts and articles and watches the videos you share, and with each one I feel the blows.

Because you participate in the machine, you willingly pass on the division and slander and hatred and rage …

To me.

Did you know that I am your target?

Maybe you did. Maybe you don’t care. Maybe I’m naive to have expected you to stop short of aiming attacks on people you know. Not that that makes it better, because it doesn’t, but it could be understandable, I guess, to not fully realize the destruction of your target on the ground when your launch is from an aircraft.

In just the last few weeks, especially the last two … you, who used to be so loving and caring and a peacemaker and a team player by nature … your aggression has been emerging. Quickly. So quickly. Already, in the past week, it is approaching militancy.

You, who I never knew to be like that, ever. Somebody, somewhere got your ear and heart and soul and changed you.

You, who were my classmates and coworkers.

You, who were my friends and neighbors.

You, who were my sisters and brothers in Christ.

You are different now. Now, of all times. Now, when so many are struggling with drastically changed lives, illness, financial devastation, and looming uncertainty.

Now, in the time of COVID-19.

Now, when the world needs help, support, reliability, and a reason to expect a better future. Now, when we need rest and a reprieve, you release this onto us. Now, when we desperately require caring and compassionate and loving people …

You give us this new person you have become.

Now, when I needed you most.

Because I, too, am seeking my footing. Like everyone, as life changed abruptly and drastically, I went tumbling in this atmosphere of massive upheaval.

I needed you. Just like all people depend on those they believe care about them. Right now more than ever.

I needed you to be who I thought you were. I needed to count on some people. Not all people, but some people. And I can, but those numbers of people are small, very, very small. I thought you were one of them — a person whom I could know, beyond-a-doubt, no matter how difficult or crazy the world became, would be good.

This has taken a toll I didn’t anticipate. You, not being who you used to be … you have caused me to trip and somersault and tumble in ways I have never tumbled before. You were part of a rock of sorts, beneath my feet. And it turns out, because you chose the route you chose … you are no longer a part of the rock beneath my feet.

You left who you were. You are no longer there. I never dreamed you would be one of those who would go rogue; who would turn inhumane and hate-filled; who would go frighteningly militant. I thought you would be here, always. I thought you would be godly and good, always.

But you are gone.

You are over there, hating at …

Me.

You are over there, fighting against …

Me.

Your words and militancy have found their target in …

Me.

You thought you were sending out your judgement and condemnation to people that you would never have to see hit by your missiles of destruction?

Me. They hit me.

Maybe you knew that and wanted that. Maybe you didn’t know. I say you should have known. Maybe you are so caught up with those voices that fill your ears and mind that you lost self-awareness. You certainly lost other-awareness. You stopped being concerned about who, exactly, you are targeting, and if, it is right even, this thing that you do now.

I don’t know if you will ever again be the person I used to know.

I am not angry. I haven’t been angry. I have been very, very, very sad for weeks now. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, exactly, that was making me so sad. I knew I could handle all that this pandemic has thrust on us. It was something else:  a low that was distinctly unique; one I have never ever felt before.

But now I know. People I believed in, people I trusted, people I admired and loved and respected and appreciated …

Hate in the time of covid.

You hate me in the time of covid.

And you are gone. You are no longer where you used to be. Nowhere near. I feel in my gut that you are not coming back. I have lost you forever.

And that …

Makes me sad. So very, very, very sad.

You probably aren’t, because you have found a new power. You are strong and mighty, alright. You have it, power. I know that firsthand, because I feel its effects. Your power to hit your target is real. You hit …

Me.

 

 

I

Did Anyone Ask God?

Some religious people make all kinds of claims about God and what He endorses:  a certain cultural value or political view, a specific theology, and, increasingly frequently, a dismissive conclusion about people who don’t comply with those views. But who among those “so-sure-of-themselves-people” even stops to ask God what He has to say?

I’ve asked that question of a few individuals before — people who are so entrenched in their “correct”, hateful stances that they don’t even see they are nothing like the Christ they claim to represent. Their answers were all some form of the same “We’re done here” rebuke:

“I don’t have to ask God. He clearly already commanded it in His Word.” The intimation is, ” If you were in right standing with God, you would know this, too”, said non-verbally with a parting prolonged stare, the equivalent of a gavel pummeling their bench of judgment.

I have come to hate that word, clearly. Clearly — enough said. I am right and you are wrong. End of discussion. Guilty as I charged. It is used by those who are embedded in self-righteousness, safety-in-numbers, corporate self-exaltation, and “outsider” judgement, dismissal and relegation.

They are so proud, that they no longer have eyes to see that many of those “outsiders” are actually “insiders” with God.

Many are meeting God all by themselves (“What, they can’t do that!”), and responding to Him, loving Him, even obeying Him. (“But we didn’t get to take credit for their conversions, or assign them to ourselves as their mentors!”) Many are sacrificing for Him, enduring the refiner’s fires for Him. Many, many, many people actually KNOW Him all on their own. (“Without interventionists?! Not possible! Clearly!”)

Yes, possible, and they actually LISTEN TO God. And HONOR God.  And have given their lives to do with as He pleases. They are forging ahead in admirable and honorable relationships with the Holy Spirit of God, and are grateful for the poignant, humbling, sometimes-difficult, occasionally-painful, always-sublime PRIVILEGE of knowing Him.

So, to the Pharisees of present day, you “clearly correct”, self-assigned and self-promoted “ambassadors of Christ” …

Many of those who you disqualified actually ARE ambassadors of Christ. Because they DO think about God. They DO listen to God. They DO care about what He thinks, what He wants, what He says, what He endorses, and where He leads. They actually connect directly with Him as a branch to the vine.

You say they can’t do that? — They must connect to the humans that claim His name, they can’t bypass the religious institution?

Oh, but they can. And they are.

I ask those who already think they know everything of God …

“Do you ever think about God?” Oh, not what your religion says about God, not even what you have read in the Bible — Do you KNOW Him? If you can’t tell me what He has “spoken” to your heart and mind about a myriad of present-day questions and issues, that’s fine, that’s honest — just don’t claim that you already clearly know exactly what God thinks and feels about those issues.

If you haven’t cared enough about God to even ask Him, to wait as long as it takes to hear it from Him, and Him alone, then …

It’s time you stop demanding others comply with your views.

It’s time for you to push the “PAUSE” button of your religiosity …

It’s time for you to “STOP” …

It’s time for you to “LISTEN”.


I have thought about God and my own life’s existence
And it’s not like I’ve not been on my knees in repentance
Bigger than life and out on my own
I’ve come to these conclusions about God

I have thought about God when searching for solutions
Disappointment and cost birthing such confusion
Surrendered my trust to the truth, not a system
And to God

How can we walk underneath an open sky?
How can we say we have eyes and yet we can be so blind?
You have your race and religion and I guess I have mine
What about God?

I had thought about God when my own father was dying
I thought the idea of death and its timing
I turned the other cheek only because I was crying
Out to God

How can we walk underneath an open sky?
How can we say we have eyes and yet we can be so blind?
You have your race and religion and I guess I have mine
What about God? What about God?

How can we walk underneath an open sky?
How can we say we have eyes and yet we can be so blind?
You have your race and religion and I guess I have mine
What about God? Do you think about God?

You can look through the windows of a stained-glass cathedral
You can speak in tongues in a church with a steeple
Who holds the keys to your own heart’s temple
I wonder if it’s God, I wonder if it’s God

Do you ever think about God?
Do you ever think about God?


Written and performed by Rita Springer, “About God” from the album “Effortless”.