Love is more shocking than hate and why that doesn’t deny or minimize pain and suffering.

When writing the the first draft of the Love/Hate Challenge, I started with Ten ordinary things happening now that I love ~~~~

Waking early in the morning, feeling rested and eager to face the day.

Waking my youngest son to, “Good morning sunshine” and other sweet songs that he will not appreciate when he is a teenager.

Completing my entire morning routine before 7:00 am. Definitely before 9:00 am.

Working with my youngest two sons on their studies.

Making nourishing and nutritious meals and snacks that are whole-food and gluten, dairy, and egg-free with high-protein and lower carb options.

Watching biographies about the most significant figures in history.

Talking with my daughter and grandson on the phone.

Running in my neighborhood or riding my stationary bike every day (except Monday.)

Working together with my husband on everything from parenting to business.

Having a craft beer at the end of the day.

Next, I wrote about extraordinary things I love and, quite frankly, wasn’t feeling much hate. But in the spirit of the challenge, I wrote about things that ruffle my feathers or act like a Johnny raincloud on my day. When my post became too long, I decided to edit out the above while keeping the ordinary hate and extraordinary love for the post.

Now to clarify a related point that’s close to my heart. There is extraordinary hate in this world. Pain, suffering, heinous crimes, abuse, and more. So much more. My family and I have been touched by our share of hate, as have our friends, neighbors, countrymen, and world citizens.

Feeling my own pain and that of others deeply, I was a bleeding heart from a tender age. As a young adult I raged against systems to the point of earning degrees in education and public administration in order to help change the world. I devoured the news and was constantly shocked by the latest form of hate.

Now I’m not shocked by hate. Why would I be after years and years of one horrific thing after another? Hate and pathology have become expected, definitely not new or news. This has nothing to do with burnout or apathy. Expected is different from being acceptable or right. Hate is never right.

What is right is love. As a child I recall attending my sister’s baptism and watching the old church ladies cry. It puzzled me. Hadn’t they seen a baby before? Haven’t they been to a million baptisms? While traveling this past weekend I attended church and was privileged to witness the baptism of a beautiful one-year-old girl. She, her family, and the whole gathering beamed. I cried. Now I understand.

Love and ordinary life are shocking. Tell me a fire was set by a madman, or that a mother lost her mind and hurt her child, or that there are waring factions of all stripes, and I’m not shocked. What shocks me is my visceral reaction to love. Show me relief workers at a war site and I’m filled with hope. Scenes of firefighters rescuing a family and their pet brings tears. Watching my daughter play with my grandson like I played with her fills my heart indescribably.

I’m not sure when the shock of hate gave way to the shock of love but I’m glad it did.

Are you shocked by love, hate, both? What example of shocking love have you experienced? 

Warmly ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc 





29 thoughts on “Love is more shocking than hate and why that doesn’t deny or minimize pain and suffering.

  1. The only shocking love I can think of right now is how much I love Bear Claw ice cream. I hate that I can’t find it locally anymore, but that’s not shocking at all. So, I guess that proves your theory that love is more shocking than hate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like your outlook. I have had my share of hate but I have also been humbled and shocked by acts of love. In my lifetime I’ve gome from seeing the world as cruel and hostile to seeing it as a marvel and a wonder and revel in the love and kindness I see around me every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Angie,

    You’re in great company! Your soft heart is an especially welcoming home for our Lord. It’s a wonderful discovery to realize that God is communicating with us during these vulnerable, heart-touched times…I have clipped some writing from both Fr. Henri Nouwen and Fr. James Martin for you.

    Nouwen first:

    Our salvation comes from something small, tender, and vulnerable, something hardly noticeable. The Lord, who is the creator of the universe, comes to us in smallness, weakness, and hiddenness. When I have no eyes for the small signs of God’s presence— the smile of a baby, the carefree play of children, the words of encouragement and gestures of love offered by friends— I remain spiritually blind. (Nouwen, Henri J. M. (2013-06-25). Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life (p. 114). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.)

    And Fr James Martin offers examples of how God often speaks to us in

    “…quiet, heartfelt moments in our own lives.

    You are holding an infant, maybe your own, who looks at you with wide-open eyes, and you are filled with a surprising sense of gratitude or awe. You wonder: Where do these powerful feelings come from? I’ve never felt like this before.

    You are walking along the beach, and as you cast your eyes to the horizon, you are filled with a sense of peace that is all out of proportion to what you expect. You wonder: Why am I getting so emotional about the beach?

    You are in the midst of a sexual encounter with your husband or wife, or an intimate moment with your girlfriend or boyfriend, and you marvel at your capacity for joy. You wonder: How can I be so happy?

    You are out to dinner or with a friend and feel a sudden sense of contentment, and you recognize how lucky you are to be blessed with her friendship. You wonder: This is an ordinary night. Where did this deep feeling come from?

    You have finally been able to come to terms with a tragedy in your life, a sickness or death, or you find yourself consoled by a friend, and you are overcome with calm. You wonder: How is it that I am finally at peace in the midst of such sadness?

    Gratitude, peace, and joy are ways that God communicates with us. During these times, we are feeling a real connection with God, though we might not initially identify it as such. The key insight is accepting that these are ways that God is communicating with us. That is, the first step involves a bit of trust. (Martin, James (2010-02-20). The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life (Kindle Locations 925-943). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.)

    As you can see, I couldn’t find a good place to cut Fr. Martin off…:-) Anyway, I think of you often and wanted to take time on this post to reach out and give you a thoughtful thumbs-way-up!

    Blessings on you, Mary Adrienne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Belated thank you for your lovely, thoughtful, and encouraging reply, Mary Adrienne! You have given me so much to ponder here…enough for a post on your own blog which just goes to show your generosity! I hope all is well with you and yours and many blessing to you all ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Love and ordinary life are shocking”….
    So true dear Angie… I have experienced shocking events of overflowing love and increasingly desperated hate… I´d say that even if it sounds paradoxical they might be two sides of the same coin at times. Hugs and best wishes. Aquileana ⭐

    Liked by 1 person

    • Belated thank you for your thoughtful reply, Aquileana ❤ I prefer to think that hate and fear are more likely to be two sides of the same coin and that love is its very own perfect coin. Mysterious, isn't it? I hope all is well with you and I look forward to catching up with you now that my full summer is slowing down a bit 😀


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