Friday, November 09, 2012

I once broke into someone's privacy fence...

I once broke into someone's privacy fence, went to the back of the house and began breaking windows.  It all started when I left the house on the way to the printer to pick up some envelopes for the church.  I had to stop for gas, and as I was pumping the gas, I smelled something funny.  It was the same smell my GI Joe action figures made when I was younger so it caught my attention.  A few blocks away there was a brownish smoke rising, so I decided to drive over and see the obvious army of GI Joes.  What I found was a house that had just caught fire.  Now I am no hero, but being the only one there, I began to yell and pound on the door.  No one answered.  A semi-truck driver arrived and we kicked in the front door.  Again I yelled but no one answered.  I tried to go in but the smoke was thick.  I was scared.  Instead of going in, I broke into their privacy fence and went from window to window breaking them.  Yelling inside.  No answer.  The dog barked.  The fire trucks arrived, a paramedic bandaged up my bloody hands.  I left and got my printing.  As I left the print shop, I saw a car stop at the end of the road-block, a woman got out and yelled at the cop, "That is my house."  She is panicked.  Crying. She runs down the street.  I leave there shaken.  It was a Thursday.  I arrived back at about 10 that morning and my pastor tells me that I can have the rest of the day off.  I am still shaken.  Finally, around noon, I called the TV channel, because I am overwhelmed with the fear that someone was in that house, that maybe the panicked lady had a child home sick that day.  The person comes back to the phone.  The house was empty.  I am still shaken.  10 years later as I type this, I am still shaken.  I hope that I will always be shaken.

Over the last week I have been shaken.  Some would define all the virtual yelling and breaking of glass as hate.  I do not.  It is the overwhelming sense that the house is on fire.  I am on scene, and something must be done.  What is first classified as hate, ultimately will be seen as love.  And conversely, what is now seen as love, acceptance and tolerance will ultimately be seen as the greatest form of hatred.  Condoleezza Rice wrote in her biography that "Today's headlines and history's judgments are rarely the same."  Be careful how you define hate.  Be careful how you define love.  Be careful how you respond to the smell of GI Joes burning in the distance.