When I look back on the hate I proudly embraced and spat in your face, I have no pride. I am embarrassed. Embarrassed that it took me so long to see you as people deserving of dignity. As if I were better than you in any way.
I was not.
I am not.
Now and then I find myself begging for your forgiveness.
“For the deeds that were done in the name of Our Lord.”
How DARE I? How dare anyone?
You showed me the grace I merely preached, the mercy I denied you.
So when you see someone in the shoes you wore those many years ago, tormented by someone in the shoes I wore those many years ago, please tell them “It Gets Better.”
But remind them that the message doesn’t just come from you who endured my hate. It comes from the one who spewed the hate.
Tell them I, the hater, said “It gets better.”
Because ultimately hate will lose. Because the dignity you deserve does not belong to those who would deprive you of it.
Because ultimately I cannot bestow on you the honor you are due.
I can only recognize it.
I value you, and our friendship, and our common struggle.