Love your enemies. Really!?!
When we get it, we lose it,
gods can be messy beings,
just us in bigger form,
best to let it go and love the mystery.
When I read the Scriptures, both the Old and the New Testament, I have more in common with what is going on in the time before Christ. When I read the words of Jesus, especially the Sermon on the Mount, and on the Plain, I will often feel lost. I read it, ponder it, pray about it, yet I know that I still don’t get it, or to put it in a better way, my heart is too small to absorb the living waters.
Love your enemies. Really!?! Do good, to those who abuse me, steal from me! All righty then! Now when I read about David, Saul, Moses, who were men of God….I get them. I can see myself like Moses, killing someone and burying the body in the sand. Or David, in a fit of lust, getting rid of the husband, if I had the power, so I could ‘own’ the wife…….thank God I do not have that kind of power. Or Moses, doubting God’s Word. My heart is like theirs, and they were men of God, much more so than I am, or perhaps ever will be. Or Saul, knowing better than God, what is the best thing to do.
I get Jonah, who became angry because God did not destroy thousands of men, women, and children, for his entertainment, as he watched from a safe distance, waiting for God to do what he (Jonah), would do, kill them, damn them, tortured them. Yet, God said, how can I desire the death of those who do not know their right hand, from their left? They are just like me, these people of Nineveh, I am often confused and in a fog, wandering through a life that often makes no sense to me. Reacting, not responding, and being asleep.
To love my neighbor as myself. Not sure I love myself. Yet I am commanded to do so. How does that happen? The self-love that Jesus talks about, that leads to the love of others, is not something I have seen in many Christians, let alone in myself. I pray for this kind of love, and I believe that each day grace is bringing me closer to that reality…..until then, I stumble along, in hope, and the desire to be free of myself.
Christians (well me) can be racist, abusers, adulterers, cheats, murderers, corrupt, blind to their own faults, and yet get prissy when they hear about the ‘sin’ of someone else, who does not sin in the way they do. I find it easy to get angry over people who are weak in areas that I am not, but easy on those who are like me……though one can always be a hypocrite, and pretend to be upset. Yes, we are a mess, but a mess, a chaotic mess, loved by God. Now that is the mystery.
We are loved, no matter what, everyone, without exception. When talking about being ‘lost’, we each have our own ideas about that. The more lost, as long as it is someone else, the better, for that way I can be special! Well, what if every human being is special, and loved by God the way we are or hope to be. How do we process that? How do we get our hearts to expand, to become more human, and to not fear the pain that comes with being vulnerable, the way Christ Jesus was, and still is.
I guess the answer is……we wait. We pray, we hope, and we love anyway, even if we don’t always feel it, we can at least begin to understand that the person before us, the messy, smelly, obnoxious, or the beautiful, rich intelligent, funny, human, shows us, Christ Jesus.
Really! Yes really!!
So where am I? Still trying to get it, pray about it, get up when I fall, and just live the day, and not worry about the morrow. I do believe that we are all in the palm of God’s hands, no matter what many in my faith try to tell me otherwise. Jesus is a true revelation of God’s Infinite love, and it will always be that, no matter how many walls we try to put up around this truth, or like Jonah, on some level, really want to be entertained by the death and destruction of those ‘hated’ by God. The problem is, no one is hated by God, but only loved……now what do we do with that? Still working on that, but grace works deeper and in secret, in that is our hope, the unrelenting love of God as shown us in Christ Jesus.
Well, it gives me hope for myself and in that for everyone. Get through the day, or this moment, seeking to do the most loving thing to what is before me. If that is sought, well ones inner life will slowly fall into place, because the seeking after love, is a response to graces inviatation.—Br.MD