The terrible violence in France last week brought up in my mind the issue of hate.
When I was a young adolescent boy of about 14 to 16 years old I had a “hate list”
On this hate list were all the names of the people who had in one way or another caused me to feel hurt, angry, rejected, excluded or in some cases I simply did not like them.
Throughout these years, a priest had the misfortune of being at the top of the list – pretty much fixed in that position – for telling me off after a service for holding the crucifix in the wrong position thus distracting him throughout – I was livid!
I have been reflecting on the fact that I could reel off the top ten at a moments notice, but my hate list was not written down as far as I recall.
My family found it extremely amusing when a new person made it onto the list – and here lies what I believe is a really important fact at the heart of all this – my family knew of the existence of my hate list and they humored me over it.
My father, mentions it now with almost nostalgic delight and all my siblings can name what were the top three names with great amusement (mainly because of the stories behind them all) but I was not aware that my family understood my pain at that time.
For me, I am blessed that I shared my frustration with my family and that the only harm caused by this hate list, was to me, as I struggled to find my place in the world and as I struggled to find my voice and be heard.
We each have to find a way to reach out to those who are marginalised and in pain in our society to prevent their hate turning into terror.
My prayers are for the victims, bereaved and the government and people of France at this sad time.
My next blog will be: When Heaven Looks Down
Picture Credit: http://www.ericpetersautos.com