I’ve felt sick the last few days. It’s nothing, really. I have a cold, or a touch of the flu. It will pass within a week almost certainly. It has been hard to focus, and since I very rarely had headaches growing up, I’ve never really learned to cope with them very well. A bit of nyquil and a bit of rest and I’ll be on the mend soon. For me. my wife was the carrier of this particular malady, but I know how she came by it, and these things do happen.
It is easy for sickness to overtake you. Viral and bacterial infections are built to spread, replicating themselves in some unwilling host until they find a new vector to expand into a new host.
In the same way, hatred and rage are diseases built to spread. They often grow quietly inside of a host, waiting for a way to express themselves to the outside world, spreading as they do. We’ve created new vectors, new disease paths for this hate to grow and spread, although we usually just call it social media.
My cold (assuming this a viral pathogen) is not cured by the medicine I take, instead the medicine is simply masking the symptoms while my body fights the infection. In the same way, we often choose to hide our hatred in subtle ways. We mask the fact that we are filled with rage in interactions with those around us. It may look like we have been cured, but it isn’t so. We’ve only hidden the symptoms of our true feelings.
In physical sickness, sometimes healing just takes time.
In this emotional sickness, we have to seek out help. We have to purposefully choose to remove the infection from our lives, there is no automatic process. There is no antibody for hatred. We can not simply wait for our feelings to subside, as the disease still lurks below the surface.
God asks us to love our neighbor as ourselves. He then has the audacity to ask us to pray for those who persecute us, to do good to those who harm us. We are to return peace for pain, love for hatred.
It’s tough medicine.