Dialogue will help create love for whole community
It's been tough trying to process immediately what was happening and how to respond to my children. What do you do when your child tells you a student was in class in a KKK outfit? It's just not something you'd imagine and yet why shouldn't we? Why shouldn't we have to deal with the harder questions of racism, which seem to be plaguing our country right now. Especially where this event happened on the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, in the shadow of the deadliest synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.
We have and keep encountering more examples of intolerance such as this. In just the past few weeks at least three other instances of swastikas appearing in our country have been reported. This brings us back to our own town. We now have a choice to make. A choice to bury and ignore this incident, which only complicates matters in the long run. Or we can choose to be unlike any other place in the nation and help heal one another.
A first step is in talking with our children. I did with mine. Some things my youngest said surprised me on how on target it was, about how this act was wrong. A second step is to talk with friends, and this means people of color and different beliefs than our own. I have talked with friends as well. One friend said this was okay because it was exploring our history, another friend has said this is not our history. This is still happening right now today. I tend to agree with this.
Lastly, Jesus constantly tells us to love, even our enemies and he exemplifies this time and again by still talking with the Pharisees and scribes, those who oppose him. He never unfriends them, he never stalks off and ignores them. Instead he challenges their thinking through dialogue. He engages them with questions. He tells stories through parables and he has compassion on many.
This is our example and we shouldn't be afraid to take this chance. It is precious, and it will give us something the world can never give. A love for our whole community.
-- Rev. Annette