Fight Hate With Love

Shirley Kristel Ausena excitedly told her mom early Tuesday morning that she had to go to Makati for a job interview in a call center. Other than giving her fare, her mother prayed in her heart that her daughter, the eldest of their three kids and described as “a family-oriented child,” would bag the job. Her parents did not worry when she was not yet home around midnight. They heard about a bus blast on the news but they just shrugged it off. Past midnight, just after turning on the TV, they could not believe their eyes when “they saw Kristel’s name being flashed on the news. At first, [they] said they were not convinced that it was their daughter since the spelling of the name was different.” (Source: INQUIRER.Net) After trying to contact Kristel on her cell to no avail they rushed to the hospital, fervently hoping that it was all a mistake. Before they got there, her father received a text message from his second daughter that Kristel indeed died in the blast. “Her body was cut in half. Only her face and parts of her body were left. The rest were bloody.” (Ibid) An improvised explosive device with a cell phone trigger tore a man-sized hole on the right side of the Newman Gold Liner bus while it was cruising along EDSA highway near Buendia, Makati early afternoon, as of press time injuring thirteen and killing five. Even if no group has yet to claim responsibility, investigators suspect that it was probably a terrorist attack pulled off by “extremists from the South” due to its similarity to a bus bombing a few years back.

Terrorism is a cowardly act since it preys on innocent people like Kristel. It usually attacks those who are not really combatants, those who can’t actually fight back. Let us not fight hate with hate. Terrorism wins when we hate. Keep in mind that we become what we hate. We must not go down to the level of the terrorists. We must rise and remain above them. Of course, we cry out for justice. But we must not cry out for an “eye for an eye”payback. If we hate, we are no different from them. Terrorism thrives on fear. If we cower, we ourselves will also become victims. So, let us fight hate with love. It is brave to love. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18, ESV) Thus, let us not hate our Muslim neighbors due to the attack. They are not our enemies. They are victims, too. Instead, love them by sharing the Good News of our God who “so loved the world, that he gave his only son,” our Lord Jesus (John 3:16).

Brethren, love conquers hate.

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