Monday, December 13, 2010

Better to Light One Candle: Love Trumps All at Elizabeth Edwards' Funeral

I am so inspired and my seemingly ever-imperiled faith in my fellow human beings is so recharged by what happened outside the church at Elizabeth Edwards' funeral.  In short, love overpowered hate.  It doesn't get any better than that.

Love eclipses hate...

In my last blog, I discussed how a hate group planned to "protest" outside of Elizabeth Edwards' funeral and how I hoped that would not impact the mourners.  I'm heartened to report that the haters were outnumbered by loving, brave, caring, respectful people and that love trumped hate.  The mourners were allowed to mourn (and celebrate Elizabeth's life) in peace.  From all accounts of what went on inside the church, it was a very loving, peaceful, healing, beautiful service.

The whole thing reminds me of what I personally experienced on September 11, 2001.  My faith in not only human beings but in God could have been shattered when the planes shattered the twin towers.  That there is such evil in this world is, and certainly was then for me, very challenging to one's faith.  To have hate come crashing in from the clear blue sky with such violence and kill so many innocent people is something that can explode one's faith in the good in people and in God him/her/itself.  I was in real danger of that happening, but something saved my faith in human beings, in goodness, and by extension in God that day.

What saved me is that I work at a blood bank.  Within what seemed like minutes of the second plane crashing into the twin towers, there was a long line of people stretching out the doors, and it just kept growing and growing.  It seemed like the whole world spontaneously, without being asked, just showed up at the door to donate blood.  I work on the second floor and there is an open overlook into the first floor lobby and the main entrance.  I just stood there with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, wanting to run down there and hug each person in line and say thank you.  Thank you for choosing to take this good, loving action in this shocking moment of hate and evil seeming to overpower all that is good.  Thank you because you didn't let the shock paralyze you.  Thank you because you are not only doing something great by donating blood, you are doing something great by lining up, hundreds strong, showing that actually good is stronger than evil, love is stronger than hate, and when evil and hate rear up and try to roar, love and goodness can stand up quietly yet even more powerfully and overpower that ugly roar with the quiet light of decency.  Thank you for demonstrating, today of all days, when we all so need to see it, that love really is more powerful than hate, and good really is much stronger than evil.

I feel the same way about what unfolded at the Edwards funeral.  A few haters showed up, wanting to intoxicate the event with their poison.  But many, many more good, decent, loving people showed up, vaccinating the proceedings with love.

Yes, there is evil, hate and violence in the world.  But no, it will never triumph over good, love and respect in the end.  Not if we don't let it.  Not if we stand up.  Not if we, instead of cursing the darkness, choose instead to light one candle.