Our church is doing a study on Ecclesiastes and I spoke on a very familiar passage in Ecclesiastes 3.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot…”
I could keep reading but it’s more fun to click on the link below. (Scripture is always more fun with go-go dancers)
The author is writing about all the seasons we go through in life and most of them I’m good with. Then I read this.
There is a time for love and a time for hate.
We are all about the first one. There is a time for love. Love is the foundation of who we are. All our songs are about love. Love is the sole reason the Hallmark channel exists. Love and bad acting. Love works for us. But hate? There is a time for hate? Yes, there is. Let me give you some examples. I hate active shooters. I hate knowing that every night people go to bed hungry. I hate human trafficking. I hate racism.
Over the last several years racism has made the headlines and every time it does my first reaction is to take time to listen to the stories of black men and women to try to understand what they have walked through. My friend Gino has helped me do that. I have another friend Eric who educates me. I also read biographies. During the last year I read biographies about Jim Brown and Arthur Ashe and Andre Iguodala but the most impactful biography I read was by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. In his book, Coach Wooden and Me, he details one story that I just can’t get out of my head. He and Coach Wooden were celebrating another NCAA Basketball National Championship over dinner and as they walked out of the restaurant an older woman came up to both of them to congratulate them. Then she turned to Coach wooden and said “I didn’t know they made ‘N____’s’ this big.”
Did any of you see the movie “Lincoln.”? I have a quick question. What was longer? The Civil War or the movie Lincoln. It was long. That movie should raise up hate feelings. A biography about Lincoln details a picture of young Lincoln the first time he saw a living slave offered in New Orleans on the slave block. Upon remembering that moment Lincoln recalled, “There was a hatred rising inside of me against slavery, and I swore if someday I could do something about it, I would do something about it.”
Years ago I was watching the NCAA National Championship basketball game with my friend Jim and he told me he grew up in North Carolina. When I asked him what racism he felt growing up he said, “When you got sick there were two places you could go. White people went to the clinic and black people were sent to the trailer.”
There is a time to hate. There’s a time to look out at injustice in the world and not just turn a blind eye. I have a simple challenge that won’t solve racism but it is a step. In this last year the NBA honored Kareem by naming a new award after him to be given to one player each year. It’s the Social Justice Champion Award and it is given to the player who makes the greatest strides in fighting injustice. When he was interviewed on TNT he was wearing a tee shirt with this simple statement.
“Make A Friend That Doesn’t Look Like You… You Might Change The World.”
That’s a pretty good place to start. Evaluate your friend group. Does everyone look like you, dress like you, drive like you? Evaluate your bookcase. Segregation has a way of making it’s way into our reading list. Maybe it’s time to open our world view. You just might learn to hate so much that your love makes a difference.