God tells me he doesn’t want me to avoid my ‘enemies’
We’re not talking, here, about the people who are actually a danger to my family.
Just that handful of people that I don’t have an easy time getting along with.
The select few that make me nervous when I see them, or worse, that actually hurt me in my interactions.
To all of you, I want to apologize. I haven’t known how to deal with you. In my uncertainty, fear, self-protection, and / or unwillingness to do what is uncomfortable, I haven’t loved you.
I have been confused by the predicament… not realizing that there may be another option, beyond simply avoiding you, vs being friends with you… which i equated with loving you.
Yes, God requires of me to love my enemy. And now he has shown me that loving my enemy does not necessitate being in a relationship with them. So some of you, I cant be in relationship with you. Some of you… I would hurt you as you would hurt me. But that doesn’t mean I cannot love you. This is something that happens more in my spirit, in my thought life, and in my prayer life. It ought to translate into how i treat you as well. I may not have a relationship with you, I may not be your friend, but I will not avoid you. I will dare to go “behind enemy lines” and I will look you in the eyes. I will not avoid your eyes for fear of hurt, nor will I avoid your eyes to wield power and dehumanize you.
I will look you in the eyes, and in so doing, tell you that you are a human, a valued creation, with thoughts and feelings and so much more.
With my eyes, I will strive to perceive the person whom God is crazy about.
when I see you in the elevator, I won’t pretend i’m busy with something so that i don’t have to make 22 seconds of awkward conversation. (unless you are drunk again… then I might try to avoid you… thats more of a safety thing)
When you come up way too close to my personal space, I will try to forget about my own discomfort and engage in your words instead.
When you have hurt me or betrayed me, I will not hold onto my hurt. I may not trust you so much in the future, but I will not hold you to account for every hurt or betrayal in your every action and interaction from then on. I will forgive you, and I will allow you to be a human again… not just the personification of my hurt.