“Darkness cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” I believe that.
The best way I know how to describe that kind of love is as a mother. What we need in the public square right now, in our places of worship and places of learning, in our Tweets, blogs and Facebook posts and in our supermarket parking lots, is a kind of love that looks something like a mother's love.
The kind of love I'm talking about is tender, and it's fierce:
It means paying attention, knowing what time it is and what the weather's like out there. It means naming danger when it threatens, and meeting it with savvy and with courage. It means teaching the difference between right and wrong. It means being responsible for our words and our actions, and calling on others – like those public figures with their violent images – to take responsibility for their actions.
It means showing up, being present, caring, not expecting somebody else to handle it.
It means compassion, knowing that we are all in this together.
And of course it means getting your heart broken, which opens you to hold the pain as well as the beauty of being fully human.
So with our hearts broken open right now, I hope we can meet the challenge of these violent times with the power of love, fierce, tender love. . .