Love thy neighbor.
How very easy it is to say or to write those words. But it’s not so easy to act them out. Especially when that neighbor has hurt someone you love. First comes shock and then anger and then indignation. Horror and disbelief knock you for six while sadness fills you for the hurt in your loved one. Being human the first thing you want to do is beat the living daylights out of the moron who did the dirty deed. But the tether to God holds you firm in front of the mirror of His word. Love Thy Neighbor…Forgive those who sin against you…
Tonight I don’t want to love or forgive him. I want to beat his ugly little butt. This friend of hubby’s, he who cycles over here and chit-chats about everything under the sun, him. The nice old fella from up the road hubby’s been friends with for a couple of years, calls hubby this afternoon and says, “Gimmie a call when you get home from work I have a photo for you.” Hubby is always giving his friends photos of the great catches they pull out of the bay while fishing. So he thought this friend had a fishing photo for him.
Hubby and I had dinner in town because we had some errands to run. But as we pulled into the driveway afterwards hubby called his friend and says, “I’m home.” A few minutes later I heard them talking out on the driveway. I was on the phone with baby-bear and so didn’t notice hubby when he came in. After a while he says, “This is what G gave me.” He handed me an envelope with hubby’s name heavily written on the outside of it. Like he had gone over it with the pen umpteen times. I almost died when I opened the envelope and took out the card. This was a piece of card cut to size on which a photo of a baby monkey, cut to size, was taped to it, and the words, Hank–1st–Birthday written on it. I was confused for a second, but eventually I realized what it was. And worse that this friend had gone to extreme lengths to make this horrible thing.
Some of you know that my hubby is dark-skinned so when I saw this homemade card I was furious. I asked my husband why on earth his ‘friend’ would do such a horrible thing; he was as mystified as I was. I got this man’s phone number and called him. I asked why did you give Hank that awful card? To which he replied, So you believe in evolution now? I responded, this has nothing to do with evolution. To which he responded, Ah, but he was a beautiful baby. I told him that was NOT funny and hung up before I said something I shouldn’t.
I asked hubby how he felt about it and he said he was shocked and hurt by it, but didn’t want to give the guy the satisfaction of getting the reaction he was obviously looking for. He thought this guy was a genuine friend. Not like the good friends he’s had all his life, but an honest, decent, fishing-buddy. Instead it turns out he’s a racist. Hubby said when he thought back over some of their conversations his ears were pricked a couple of times by comments this guy had made about Obama and that made hubby wonder. But you never want to believe nice folks could be so ignorant. The truth is they can be and some (unapologetically) are.
My anger has waned a little as the night has worn on and I am thinking this guy has a very weird sense of humor at the best of times and he probably thought this was a hilarious joke. I think he knows now that we don’t think it’s funny at all.
What do you think? Am I over-reacting? Like I said earlier I am tethered to God’s Word and know the path to take on this. I will forgive him. It might be after I’ve knocked him flat, but I will forgive him. Hubby tore the thing up and tossed it in the trash. And being the man he is he will forgive his old friend, chalk it up to experience, and move past it.
Note: I’ve removed the picture as it was SO completely offensive.