Hope, Love, Hate

Hate: hostile actions motivated by intense dislike or prejudice.

Hate is such a powerful word. When it is encouraged and allowed to grow, the results are devastating. When our kids were young, we taught them not to use that word, especially when referring to another person. Yes, there are times we might not like someone. Everyone does not have to be our best friend. However, to say you hated someone-that was never acceptable.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the release of the movie Schindler’s List. To honor that anniversary it was re-released in theaters this past weekend.

My husband and I saw this movie when it originally came out. Even after 25 years, I remember feeling like I couldn’t move when the movie ended. I was crying, of course. How could I not cry at the sight of so much hate?

It is still difficult for me to imagine how such atrocities occurred and continue to occur in our world. Yes, I know they happen.  And movies such as Schindler’s List make sure we don’t forget the past. 

Love: an intense feeling of deep affection.

I also know there is love. I’ve witnessed its outpouring on others and experienced it in my own life. And yet…the hate still remains.

As Gart and I watched this powerful film once again, this time with our three grown children, different things stood out to me. There’s a particular scene where Jewish people are being put on trains for transfer out of the work camp, most likely to Auschwitz.

Oskar Schindler, a German businessman, sees the people peering through the small windows, gasping for air. He asks the Nazi soldier in charge to give him water hoses and begins to spray water into the cars, providing a small bit of relief.

It may not have seemed like much. Perhaps a sip of water. A moment of cooling in the middle of cramped, unthinkable conditions, crammed into a train car like cattle.

I walked through one of these train cars when visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.  Small, dark, cramped. I can’t begin to imagine the fear which filled the air as those doors were closed.

The man in charge asked why Schindler wanted to spray this water. Why he would offer them even a moment of hope. His response was, “Humor me.” But there was desperation in his eyes. He knew he had to do something.

Hope: grounds for believing that something good may happen.

Mr. Schindler started out as a businessman, interested only in making money. But in the end, he helped save the lives of 1,200 Jewish people during the Holocaust. There are some 6,000 descendants from this specific group of people.

Near the end of the film, Schindler becomes inconsolable, anguishing that he did not save even more people. He was presented with a gift, a ring, with the inscription, “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.”

That is hope. Hope which leads to love. Love which will eventually overcome hate.

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

2 thoughts on “Hope, Love, Hate

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