…for what you believe in.
Yesterday I had other blog themes on the brain, but it was a very important day of remembrance in Dresden, Germany. On February 13th, 1945, the heart of Dresden was destroyed by Allied Forces. You can read about it here, because I have neither the qualification nor the heart for recounting it in my blog. It’s a sad story, but one that I am glad to have read and had recounted to me as a reminder of what war does to humankind. Not just to soldiers abroad, but to average families who find the enemy at their front door.
I find it fitting, though, that the infamous February 13th…a day full of sadness and hate…is followed by the beloved February 14th…a day of love and hope. Today on Valentine’s Day I saw some pictures from Joel, our H.I.M. worker from the demonstrations downtown and it made me think of some verses from Romans 12. You see, in Dresden, the Germans don’t simply remember their fellow countrymen who passed away on that horrible night.
They also stand up for love and tolerance against Nazi protesters who choose the day of February 13th to make their own demonstration and who, for years, have made it not only a day of remembrance but a day of political turmoil. Last February 13th in 2010 was an important day in this regard as Dresdeners formed a peaceful human blockade to stop the largest Neo-Nazi march in the post-war era.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
They were standing up for love and hating evil. I love this phrase “stand up.” It implies doing something. Obviously, you can’t stand up to something when you’re sitting down. You have to get in the way and show your sincerity by saying with your physical presence, “this is not okay with me.”
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
I love that the Menschenkette (human chain) formed of 17,000 people yesterday to symbolize blocking out the neo-Nazis was a peaceful event. We should hate what is evil, but leave justice and vengeance to God, as Paul goes on to describe later in chapter 12. Our job is to actively stand up for love in as peaceful a way as possible.
That is why I’m so proud of my German friends and friends of other nationalities who have gone downtown to say “I stand for love.” Though I, as a Generation X American cannot fully comprehend what this emotionally- and politically-charged day means to my fellow Dresdeners, I have still learned so much from their example and I rejoice in the fact that after spending 10 years in Dresden, each February 14th, the “day of love,” holds new meaning and hope because of what I witness each February 13th.