On a day like Remembrance Day it is easy to make general statements about loving your enemy. As if we can all do it at the drop of a hat. Recently though, I have come face to face with what it means to love someone who has done so much to destroy everything that was good about life. And I find myself, for the first time ever, asking myself –
“Can I really still love that person?”
It kills me, it terrifies me, it breaks me in a way I never thought possible.
My thoughts fall into a terrible pit of hate and seething anger. My fists clench and my knuckles turn white. I wonder if I will ever be able to let go. When I sit by myself, I stew, and stir.
And so I don’t sit by myself.
And God meets me there. Somewhere, in the terrible mess of life. He sits down next to me – and he pushes me, just a little. To take one step, and then another. He puts my friends around me to keep me afloat on a sea of love and affirmation. They are the physical representation of good for me. They show me, as messed up as it is, there is good, there is light in darkness. The world doesn’t aspire to evil, it’s just broken. And so, I come face to face with my enemy.
My enemy isn’t the person, it’s my own hate.
Can I love myself? In the depth of my anger? If I love my enemy – if I love so much that my hate melts – all that’s left is love. Love is all that can survive. It has too.