Early morning light, the words I’m reading give me a bit of a start.
“Then the entire council took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. … ,..Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction, and Herod happened to be in Jerusalem at the time. ….. Herod and his soldiers began mocking and ridiculing Jesus. Finally they put a royal robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. (Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.)” Luke 23:11 and 12.
Became friends that day?! Wow. A hate bond. Bonded by mutual wrongdoing, tearing the life of another to pieces – together. Bible now placed beside me, I stop still and frozen. I’ve felt it so many times. The collaboration of darkness, and the bond it forms. I guess I’ve never noticed it so boldly stated in the Bible.
It’s easy to spot this in the shadows – world of drugs. The lonely kid at school gets befriended by the users, and before long the lonely kid isn’t lonely anymore, and is also mostly gone, sucked into the vortex of death.
I’ve seen it in friendships. An irritation if I can’t add to the hate that’s being spewed. Friendship lost because she hates and I don’t. I’m thought to be not loyal.
In marriage, I’ve seen a bond of love that circles wagons around contempt toward a common hated other. I’ve heard it said “When they’re not commiserating, they’re not happy”
I’ve seen it in myself. With a certain someone, no matter how long it’s been since we talk, it’s the same go around, it’s what our friendship consists of.
I’ve seen it in churches. What unites the brothers and sisters is the eternal spy-glass fixed on sinful ways of ‘them’, of course much different from the ‘us’.
And today I think about what that behavior is. It’s hate attachment.
Carry each other’s burdens,
and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
How does bonding over hate allow for bearing the burdens of the ‘them’? Not possible. Love means I know what your burdens are and choose to love you anyway. It’s not easy. Especially when you bond with another by your hate for me, finding my faults, pointing them out at every turn. Nevertheless, Christ’s law requires that I bear your burdens.
What are your burdens? Truth is you don’t have to trust me for me to bear your burdens. I can simply lift up what I think I see in you… ask God to lessen your struggles, tell Him I can’t get close but want to love, even from a distance. God will honor that request.
Micah was a disliked fellow who had to say hard things for God. As Micah was writing down the list of despicable things the people of Israel had stooped to, God asked the people a question:
“My people, what did I do to you?
What did I ever do to make you tired of me?
Micah 6: 3
A heart breaking question from a God who felt the disconnect, and noticed the coldness the people felt toward Him.
If I were to answer for the people as I am one of the riffraff myself, I’d say “Oh God, I’m tired of you because I’m excited by everything that’s all about me. I most like the company of others who enjoy the self centered life I enjoy. You are good and kind and stand up for wrong, and do hard things, and, well, God, you are stodgy and a bore. You make me feel dirty and rotten and very lazy.”
A truthful answer to God, and grotesque. What I really want is to put my bond with God above my bond with power and popularity. I want to notice each time I start forming an attachment with evildoers – and have the courage to do an about-face, sprinting full speed toward beauty and love, not hate, no matter how misunderstood and lonely that about-face might be. Because God has done nothing to make me grow tired of Him but love me all my life long.