Being Human // When Pain Turns to Hate // Kate Murphy

Who do you hate?

If you answered the question at all, you probably said, “No one.” What else do you say in response to a question from a pastor? We’re not supposed to hate anyone, right? So, therefore, we don’t hate anyone, right?


Psalm 137 is a hauntingly beautiful psalm of lament. The writer has survived horrific trauma. The nation of Babylon has invaded Israel, conquered them in battle, destroyed the holy city, brutally murdered half the civilians, and carried the rest away into slavery. The first verses poignantly express the numbing grief, despair, and excruciating pain of the victims. But, in the last verse, the psalm—which is a prayer—makes a disturbing turn as it begins to talk about the Babylonian invaders:

Happy are they who dash your infants against the rocks.

Pain turns to hate. There is no human who isn’t susceptible to the cancer of hate. Our natural instinct is to hide our hate from God. We know we shouldn’t hate, so we pretend we don’t.  But faith isn’t a performance—we can and should bring to God all of ourselves. The beauty, the pain, the brutality. We bring this all to God because where else can we find hope and healing?

I hope you’ll listen as we seek the Lord’s wisdom and grace to flood every corner of our weary hearts.

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