The other day at the playground my children and I and our friends encountered an evil, chauvinistic, ignorant, loud, obnoxious man. You can read my friend's account on her rockin' blog here, on the April 18th post. My daughter is the shoeless three year old she describes and my friend dubs me "Feistymom," which I snorted with laughter over.
Anyhow...onto why I love Jesus. All night long I tossed and turned, thinking about ways I could embarass this man. I have a verbal gift - I could stand atop the tallest playground structure with a megaphone and delineate for all my mommy acquaintances exactly how this man's ignorance is affecting us all. I could, as my dear friend Kathy and I discussed on the phone tonight, round up the mommies, slip out of our bras, fill them with wood chips and pelt him, slingshot style, while chanting, "You have a small penis!", until he runs away sobbing. Or the more base response, "You fucked with the wrong fucking Mommy, asshole!" I think I may enjoy all of these options. So while I was plotting my revenge, I said to myself, "This man is my enemy." And then of course JESUS pops into my mind with the whole, "Love your enemies" thing. NOT NOW, LORD!!! I haven't loathed anyone this much since Kyle Cappello in 7th grade used to walk by my desk in Social Studies and whisper to me how ugly I was.
So here I am, thinking, "Well, crap. Now that I've admitted he's my enemy, I now have to love him." Being a Christian is haaaaaarrrd! But let's think about what kind of God we serve, and how radical Christ is! Love my enemy?!?! LOVE my enemy? Love my ENEMY?!?! He hurt my daughter's feelings!! The point is, people, the stuff Christ said is so radical, it blows my mind. We're not talking about loving in a vague, ohwell, I'll just not completely hate him way. Nope. Look at the definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
When Jesus said, "Love your enemies", he didn't mean just ignore them and maybe they'll go away. God help me! If I go through each line of the above definition of love, how do I measure up? I'm just as much of a rude asshole as he is. Sigh. The way that I will love this man is to hope for him, and for his boys. I will pray that whatever childhood teachings or trauma that made him who he is will be healed, and fast, before more of his rhetoric is taught to his sons. I'm not sure what else to think at this point because this feels like a struggle.
Jesus is so worth following. His teachings bring me beyond my ugly little self in ways I never would have imagined. Peace to you and your precious families.