I was born in Dodge City, spent a few years in Cimarron, but have lived in Larned since 1971. I’m a native Kansan, an American, and I’m scared. Scared for myself but far more scared for the ones I love.
Some might be happy to read that. I just don’t know how few. Or how many.
I know a lot of folks are frustrated and angry. It feels like everytime you look up, there’s fewer jobs, less help. It seems like hard times have become permanent, for years now. I got my engineering degree from K-State, I work as one and I feel like I’m barely on the ragged edge of the middle class. I don’t even blame my employer as it’s hard times for them as well. For all of us everywhere. I understand the need for things to get better here, where we live.
What I don’t understand is hatred. Hatred of others in the same leaky boat, making no more headway than the rest of us. There has to be more than just hate.
Has hate ever paid a bill? Has hate ever brought in a crop or mended a fence? Has hate ever stopped to help change a tire on the side of a lonely highway? Has hate ever checked in on an elderly neighbor, given blood, or volunteered at the food bank?
I’ve never really been a man of faith, but maybe all this will change me. Maybe K-96 to Great Bend will be my road to Damascus.
But I can’t believe that Jesus Christ would hate, even those that look different, or speak different, as how can only some people be God’s children? Hate the sin not the sinner is the phrase, but how can it be a sin for them to love their family and provide for them as you do yours? How could the weeds in any man’s heart grow so tall?
I don’t know what happens next. Perhaps an unwelcome visit in the night or even the harsh light of day for daring to speak. But I probably am selling my fellow Kansans short, who I have found to be gracious, helpful and friendly to a fault. I’m trying to be just that now, at work, when out shopping, and in my neighborhood where I have been far too distant. I hope others also renew their efforts to be good Kansans and Christians to all they meet as we are all in this together.