What?? If you’re anything like me, it’s at this point that the one-way conversation becomes two-way, and you respond with, “God, my enemies…what a ‘lofty ideal’ but You could not have possibly thought that through!”
And in that split second pause that it took you to take a deep breath before pouring out, in detail, just what kind of enemies you have, you hear God answering you…
“My Beloved, I’ve not only thought it through, I have lived it! This is the life you see in Jesus who didn’t respond when He was mocked; who told quizzical, sometimes humorous, stories that forced others to think differently in response to being challenged; who took the pain when He was struck; who carried the worst bit of Roman equipment on his back to the place of his own execution; who, when nailed to the cross, prayed for them.*
In living a life of loving your enemies, you are imitating me! At the very core of my being that is who I am! I send rain on both the just AND the unjust. I make the sun rise on the bad AND the good alike. I am long-suffering because my desire is that none should perish.
In Jesus you see the Emmanuel – the God-with-us person. In seeing Jesus you are seeing Me, my heart, who I am. And so, my sweet one, in telling you to ‘love your enemies’ I am asking you to become like me. Remember, I chose you to be my light in this darkened world - reflecting my love into a world that needs it so badly.”
Praying for us as we live lives that love like Jesus :)
*indebted to NT Wright for his beautiful description of Jesus’ life