Sitting at lunch today, a man came in covered in tattoos with a t-shirt on that immediately caught my attention. It was all white with “I” then a “big red heart” then the word “Haters!” I stared at it. I leaned into my sister and said, “Look at his shirt, he hearts haters.”
How odd, I thought. He sat down with his party. I went back to visiting with my family, we ate our lunch but every once in a while, out of the corner of my eye, I’d catch his shirt. Bright white shirt, bright red letters, I Heart Haters. I kept thinking what kind of person would love haters? How strong a person must be to not just heart the haters but to advertise it on their shirt.
But isn’t that what Jesus did? He loved those who hated him. He loved those who beat Him. He loved those who hung Him on a cross and killed Him. He loves us when we hate Him, when go about doing our own thing, when we sin.
Jesus said in Luke 6:27-28 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”
We try to love but it isn’t always pretty or accepted. Sometimes those we know and love become our worst “haters” and the hardest to love.
As I think back to the man with the I Heart Haters shirt it was almost as if he was daring someone to hate him so he could prove he loved them.
Jesus Hearts Haters. We are called to heart haters. Do you heart haters? I have to ask myself, Do I heart haters? I may say I do and even try to but do I love them enough to broadcast it on a t-shirt and walk around with it?
Casting Crowns tweeted today, “I think the world is fully aware right now of what we are against, but I don’t think they really know what we’re for.”
Let’s get out there and just love. Join me in saying, “I Heart Haters!”