Here is a link to an article about the letter. There is a letter that has been going around. It is a hateful letter. A letter that makes one sorrowful over humanity. A letter that begs for a passionate response. A letter that instills hatred on all sides. Maybe you have seen it floating around on the, or perhaps you have not. Here is a link to an article about the letter. The message to the letter is simple. The anonymous author hates a woman for living in her neighborhood with her autistic child. That is the most simple way to summarize it. It is poisonous and hateful words. There is not a single word in the letter that is not dripping with hatred.
My gut reaction is to want to respond with anger and hatred and call it righteous anger. I want to call her every name in the book. I want her to feel beyond guilt for what she wrote. Part of me wants to know the exact words to say to cut this woman to her core in a way she could never recover.
If I was capable of doing all of this and carried it out the world would not look down on me for it. We look at hatred like this and we want to see retribution. We want to enact retaliation. We want her to face the punishment for her crime, and make no mistake, this was a crime. A hateful, appalling, tragic crime. I look at this letter and I see it scream out hatred.
It is also screaming something else. It screams out brokenness. The other day I was sitting as I waited between class and work. I saw a woman walk past me. A thought was shoved into my mind. A thought that was so penetrating and strong that I have trouble believing it just appeared based off of my own will power. It was a thought that changed my day. “What is that woman’s story?” As I asked that question I began to see a bigger picture than the woman walking past. I saw that she walked to a table where she was clearly caring for two older women unable to care for themselves. She looked weary and drained. Their was a weight on her shoulders. She was tired. She seemed uncertain of life. In some brief moments I found myself grasping that this woman had a story, and I was catching brief glimpses of it.
I was at work that day. It was the end of my shift. I found my phone ringing for one last time. The name displayed on my screen and my heart sunk. it was a man who I had had on the phone multiple times. It never ended well. It always lead to anger and resentment. It always ended with me hanging up the phone baffled as to how anyway could be so angry and find it ok to dump that anger on a random stranger. What was his story I wonder? Was he facing struggles in his family? Were their hardships at work? Was a loved on suffering? What kind of home did he grow up in? He had a story.
The truth is that there is very little keeping me form being like any of those hateful and angry people. I am very capable of it. There are times where I want to say those hateful and cruel things. There are those times where I want to make people hurt because I hurt. It’s not that I don’t know better. I most certainly know better, but the baggage in our lives clouds our judgment.
This world is a broken one. Somewhere in the midst of following God’s commands of purity, sanctification and refraining from being in love with this world we forgot that we are meant to have a deep love for a broken world. It is the kind of love that pushes onward when the brokenness responds with hatred. it is the kind of love that does not hunger for what it can take, but rather gives sacrificially.
I read that letter and I find my heart breaking. I break for the woman who received it. I break for the woman who wrote it. I break for myself and the realization staring me in the face of what I am capable of should I choose anger and bitterness over forgiveness and mercy.
I’m not saying we should be angry when we see these thing happen. Anger is a natural reaction to these moments. I’m not saying people shouldn’t answer for what they do. I’m not saying we sweep everything under the rug, but it should push us to ponder the implications. It should make us wonder what would happen in someone’s life to compel them to be this way. It should make us be grateful for experiencing God’s mercy. It should make us get down on our knees and pray, because in these moments we are reminded of a brutal truth. This world is broken, and it desperately needs to be fixed.