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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Your Enemies

Is it just me or do some people deserve to be hated? I mean some people just ask for it. Case and point, THE EX! Now everyone has an ex or some relationship that just didn’t quite work out but then there is THE EX! That person who steps into your world for however brief an interval and turns it on it’s head then they go about their lives lollygagging while you’re forced to pick up the piece of your shattered universe. Can I get a witness? That person that treats you like the vomit he accidentally stepped in on his way from the urinal. THAT person. That’s the one the Bible tells us we are to love. THAT person! But how?!!!!

Once upon a time I made a stupid mistake. When I was an undergraduate I met a very shy self-effacing guy who did me a huge favor. I didn’t know the guy but he assisted me by volunteering to participate in my research study. What a nice guy and he just happened to be there in the nick of time when I needed help. Later I bumped into him on campus and engaged him in light chitchat. Because he seemed polite and friendly I didn’t think much when he asked me for my phone number and soon we became good friends. BIG MISTAKE. I should have just walked away. I mean the guy was definitely a bit strange, but I decided to befriend him any way. Fast-forward two years later and out of some perverse form of schizophrenic neediness I entered into a relationship with this young man. Fast forward 6 month later and I was crying bitterly on my birthday, alone in a new community, broke, and broken up. Just like that it was and is and will remain over.

It’s dead without the possibility of resurrection and so is our once friendship.

Of all the things in the Bible the most difficult thing to do is to love your enemies and to be kind to those who intentionally do you harm. Up until this point I hadn’t done too bad of a job at that. Occasionally resentment would boil up inside of me but prayer and mediation and focusing on God’s love would always change how I felt around. But then there was HIM. Like a cancer that refuses to be cut out he clings to me in the worse way. I almost hate him.

Yeah I know that’s not Christian and I know I have a lot to answer for because I have harbored this resentment in my heart. I thought I was a big girl--that all was forgiven and that I had moved on. I even accepted his facebook friend request and engaged in light small talk with him via the net. Alas I am super Christian I have forgiven and moved on! Or so I thought. Then this Christmas morning I woke up to a missed call. It was HIM. No problem I’ll call him back later. After all I’m a big girl right. I did just that. I engaged him with some how are you’s, how the family, hows life etc. Ah this isn’t too bad I thought. This will be a cinch. After all I am so glad that I got over him. Or had I? I just had to ask a question. A question that should not have been asked because I did not like the answer.

Are you happy with your decision? By that I meant was he happy with that fact that his behavior had pushed away a wonderful young lady who at one point loved and cherished him. Did he have even that slightest regret that something that once had so much promise turned out so ugly? The answer: Not really.

See while I was crying my eyes out and missing him and praying for him every night…while I harbored the false hope that one day he would change and perhaps, just perhaps we could be friends again. While I agonized over the fact that he had betrayed me and thrown me away, he was happy about his life. Going on about things as if we’d never broken up. I meant no more to him than a used piece of toilet paper. Tactfully I hung up the phone after wishing him a good holiday and telling him to have a nice life. I did and said all the Christian things. I didn’t curse him out. I didn’t threaten to run him over with my Nissan. I didn’t tell him what an awful person he was. I didn’t plot his revenge. And you know what, I wish I had! But then there is a little voice inside of me that says “love your enemies.”

Even now I want to write all his secrets out on this blog. I want to tell his friends and colleagues all his dirt. I want to show him what I think he is, but I can’t. I am to love my enemies. Perhaps that’s the hardest thing the Christian faith teaches. Sure there is nothing wrong with being angry, but we are to be angry without sinning. After all even rapists and child molesters can love people who treat them with love, the challenge comes in loving those who have treated you like used toilet paper.

Dear God,

I know that I have been treated unfairly. I will never really understand why, but I know that your own Son was treated infinitely worse. Father even while they were driving nails through his sinless hands He never uttered one harsh would against them. Instead Jesus asked you to forgive them. Father please put that kind of love in my heart. Please help me to love those who have harmed me. Please heal me of this hurt and help me to move on. Grant me the strength to forgive. And Lord please bless the ex fill him with your love and your presence so that he will treat people as you would have him to.


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