As a kid, I took a variety of medications. I wasn’t sicker than any other kid; it was just part of growing up. Triaminic for colds—aspirin, Tylenol, or ibuprofen for headaches, cuts and sprains—antibiotics for the bugs we couldn’t get rid of—pain killers for the few surgeries I had—and I am sure there were more.
While I was a good student, I did enjoy the occasional fever. A day spent on the couch with a bed made up by my mother, hot soup, and all the TV I could endure.
It seemed that no matter what ailed my or one of my siblings, there was something out there that would make us feel better. Sometimes, the bed on the couch and cartoons were the medicines we were after, but they weren’t the ones we needed. Sleep, nutrition, hydration, and antibiotics were what healed us.
Not a whole lot changes when we become adults. When we get sick, we seek the medicine that can take the sickness away. But things get a bit more complicated when what ails us isn’t a condition of our bodies but rather a condition of our hearts, minds, and souls.
There are a lot of diseases running around right now, highly contagious ones; and it seems what some see as the medicine, maybe it’s better to say the cure, is just more of the same diseases packaged up as something else.
I am relatively confident that racist ideas and behaviors are people’s feeble attempts to fix what ails them. While hate rears its ugly face as racism, entitlement, bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, abuse, and oppression; it’s medicine—at least it’s all used as a medicine to treat the real disease—the fear that people feel. Fear that someone might take what someone sees as theirs, fear that someone else might have an opportunity they don’t “deserve” but “we” do, fear one’s beliefs will be threatened, undermined, or destroyed… but it’s all fear.
And right now there is more fear out there than ever before. Maybe that’s not true. But we are more aware of it than ever before.
The problem with anything hate-filled is that it can’t cure anything. Hate only propagates more fear, and not necessarily just in those on the receiving end. Every hate-filled comment, action, policy, etc. emboldens the idea that the things we fear are worth fearing.
I see a lot of Christians out there standing up for the oppressed and speaking out for the broken, and I see a lot of Christians living in fear, so they turn to hate without even knowing it. God is not a God of fear, so why do we feed the beast and let it grow. Hate of any kind is no medicine; it’s poison — every single time.
No one is immune to hate. We will all experience it, and we will all cast it upon others at some point. More than likely because of fear. But we have to fight against it. Sometimes that fight needs to begin with acknowledgment.
So while I ruminate on what is mine, I ask, what's your medicine?
What are you turning to in the face of fear? If the medicine your taking exists at the expense of any other human being…
I’ve got news for you…
it’s not working…
Because it's not medicine…