Yesterday, on the way to work, the finale of Les Miserable came on the radio. This song always puts me in a mood of contemplation and profound reverie. It touches us all on a deep level of the simple love that we have for our Father. That love resides somewhere in all of us, though it may be covered up and rusty in quite a few. We all desire in our hearts for a world where we can live in peace, where all men will put away the sword. We long for such a place for our children and for their children as well.
Our present world bears no resemblance to that apparently far off desire. Today’s world is more a world of the barricade than a world beyond the barricade. We struggle with news reports of far off wars, local crimes and sad stories of corrupted officials that make us lose hope that such a world of peace could ever exist.
It does exist. We can achieve it. I, as an individual, cannot force anyone else to want or create such a world. I can only look inside of myself and eliminate the hate inside of me. I may proclaim, “but I am not a hateful person. I’m a nice person!” Wait a minute! What about that annoying person in the next cubicle? Do I hate him? What about the person that always rubs me the wrong way? How about the guy that cut me off on the highway this morning? Do I hate him? Or did I pray for him as he was speeding off?
There is a solution to hatred. Instead of avoiding that person, hoping that he or she will go away, think about his/her life for a while. What would be something that he/she would really like? Not a big flashy gift, but something small and simple, that shows you’re thinking of him or her. Maybe a cup of coffee or just a kind gesture. Something that would touch his/her heart. He might end up hating you for doing that, but you will have taken one further step toward eliminating the hate from your heart.
People don’t respond well these days to words and doctrines, but love, they can’t resist that. The song ends with the words, “to love another person is to see the face of God.” Love grows. Love is contagious.