Saying she was inspired by a recent sermon, St. Paul's Children's Librarian Linda Tiffany recently passed along to me from our St. Paul's Children's Library a copy of The Christmas Menorah: How a Town Fought Hate.
This book, authored by Janice Cohn with illustrations by Bill Farnsworth, tells a story based on the facts as to how the citizenry of Billings, Montana rose up as a community during December of 1993 to withstand and counter acts of hatred; specifically an act of hatred directed at a Jewish family.
As I read it I was inspired again to see the example of people acting on the conviction that there is nobody who is not our neighbor.
This is a good read for parents with their children. I've returned the book to the collection, so it's there.
The human condition is such that hatred and fear are ever-present. But the words of one character in the story, as told to a young boy, are memorable:
"You know, honey, hate can make a lot of noise. Love and courage are usually quieter. But in the end, they're the strongest."
I'll let you read the story to see how it all played out.
As I read it, I wonder: "Do we have to wait until someone is attacked before we do something united together?"
That's something to think about, and pray about, that God will show us how the occasion when we can act in the spirit of those Billings citizens in 1993.