Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Love your Enemies

     Love is what I am all about. It's a difficult concept to be someone who loves everyone, including enemies, but Christ places this radical call on my life to do so, so I do.
      I find the most difficult part of being a disciple of Jesus, being the whole love the oppressor as much as you love the oppressed thing. It's easy for me to love oppressed people. Cheering for the underdog is in my dna. I always cheer for the underdog team on biggest loser, I always cheer for the teen everybody thinks is a loser, that's just who I am. Thus, loving oppressed people whether that be kids in africa, or people in the US who don't get fairly treated, I am all about cheering them on and loving them.
     On the other hand, I have a very difficult time loving those who oppress others. Those who put people in bad situations, cheat them out of things.... people who don't love others.
       I went to Colombia a few years back with a wonderful organization called Christian Peacemaker Teams that seeks to bring about peaceful resolution to the world's conflict. This was where I was confronted head on with what it means to love your enemy. All of these small displaced children with dirty faces were so easy to love. I would pull them up on my lap and embrace them, teach them english, let them look at my blue eyes. Then there were the others.... the ones who put them in that position, sadly, many times corporations from my own country, and I wanted to hate them. I wanted to allow this horrible hate to bubble up inside of me for how wronged these people are.
      My hatred wanted to come out, but I was stopped one day. Peace is what I came to achieve, and hatred in my heart is robbing me of peace in my own life. How can I ask for their to be peace in the world if I can not come to a place of peace in my own heart? This thought led to the next; if I hate the oppressor then I become an oppressor too, even if on a smaller scale. Change, peace, and understanding do not come from becoming the type of person who oppresses those who oppress, it comes from loving those who are most difficult to love.
      It is this lesson that drives my life. Love God, and love others. There should not be a condition on this, there should not be a limit to my love. I should love all people. Seek justice, not through violence, or hatred, because that isn't true justice. Seek peace, not through pointing fingers or blame.... but just love. It is love that will change the world, and the radical love of enemies that will see lives transformed.