Turning Hate to Love

Have you seen the new Honey Maid “This is Wholesome” campaign? It celebrates a variety of families sharing wholesome moments together. Unfortunately, some depictions of family, particularly the same sex couple, have been highly criticized. Honey Maid has received many negative comments about the campaign, saying it’s not wholesome but unacceptable.

Honey Maid responded beautifully. Not backing down, they said in their reaction video, “Some people didn’t agree with our message, so we asked two artists to take the negative comments, and turn them into something else.”

If you haven’t seen their reaction video, check it out here.

I love that they’ve taken the negativity and, through the artists, transformed it into love, bolstering their original message of love and family and wholesomeness. Even in the face of such backlash and hate, they were able to react in a beautiful way that didn’t judge or even condemn those who were against them.

Honey Maid’s reaction reminded me of the hate-mail origami Rachel Held Evans made from the criticisms of her book and her work.

What Evans did was healing, and holy, taking criticism and hate and turning them into something else.

She described the process,:”What I learned turning my hate mail into origami is that we’re meant to remake this world together. We’re meant to hurt together, heal together, forgive together, and create together…Because I am a real human being, living a very real life, with a very real capacity to be hurt, to be loved, to heal, and to forgive.  And so are my enemies.”

It’s easy for us to judge and criticize others, especially when we believe we’re doing it in the name of something greater, like family or God. It’s easy for us to throw our words out into the world– especially the virtual world– when we feel we’re saying something that needs to be said. But you know what needs to be said? Love.

Evans’ conclusion was, “Something tells me we would all be a bit slower to speak if we knew just how long it takes to work those ugly, heavy words into something beautiful, something that can float or fly away.” (Be sure to read her whole post if you haven’t already. It’s incredible.)

This life is hard. Why are we making it harder for the people around us? Why, as Christians, do many of us take our faith and our God and use them as weapons? Is that what honors God? Is that what Christ would do if he were here?

There’s such beauty in responding like Evans, like Honey Maid, by taking something hateful and turning it into something loving and graceful and healing. There’s such beauty in recognizing the humanity, the image of God in every person.  And hurling hate does not honor that.


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