Love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. Matthew 5:44
Every day I wake up, I do not know who I am going to meet, what I am going to say to someone that day or if my actions will change someone’s life. All I know when I wake up in the morning is that I must get dressed and out the door to work before 9:00 am. When we stop to take a moment and really take a look at our day, we really need to see the person we are or the person we are becoming. Our thoughts are different, our words are different. How can I use my thoughts and words to speak love and encouragement into someone’s life? When I think about that question I think about the scripture above. Can I speak love and encouragement into the life of someone who does not like me, who is my enemy, who has hurt me?
I remember when I was young and I was in love and that love broke my heart. He told me he did not want to date me anymore. I cried the tears of sadness for days and then it turned into anger. I was hoping for bad things to happen to him. I was hoping that he would feel the same hurt I was feeling. I wanted to not feel this way anymore so I moved out of the state he was in and to California to get away from anything that reminded me of him. As time passed I healed but I never forgot. Eventually I moved back and within a year of returning I met a lady, I will call her Barbara; we became friends. Then one day she told me she had something to tell me. While we were sitting at a restaurant having a bite to eat, Barbara began to tell me that she was married to, John, the man I had been in love with, the man who left me. She said the way she knew I dated him is because he had pictures of me all around their home. He did not hide it from her. I Awkward did not know what to say. She said she had tired of him talking about me and slowly they grew apart. I was so confused because he left me, yet he kept our pictures.
During the years I was in California licking my wounds from my relationship with John, I read the scripture, Matthew 5:44, it spoke to me in a time when I was ready to read it and ready to hear it. I began to realize that instead of my hating him, wishing bad things would happen to him, that I needed to pray for him; that is what I began to do. That was when I began to heal and it lead me to return home, to the same place he was living. At no point did I have a desire to see him or interfere in his life. But what was placed in mine was this woman who was married to him and recognized me from pictures, which gave me a glimpse of him and his life in my absence. In my years away, I wondered if he thought about me, missed me or even cared. All my questions were answered when I returned home and met a stranger name Barbara, who blew me away with her story.
We are asked to love our enemy and pray for those who hurt us. This is not just in our personal relationships but for people in other countries who have done us harm…..remember 911, Boston, people who don’t look like us and people who might hate us. Can we show them love? Can we love them despite what they did to us and our families? It’s hard isn’t it? I thought I could never forgive and have love in my heart for John again, so how can I even remotely have an ounce of love or forgiveness for people who killed and hurt people in my country; the same way I began to pray for John. Loving the person and praying for the person who has hurt me, has opened my heart to forgive. My thoughts and words have change to speaking love rather than hate and anger into the world. I wake up each morning with a heart of encouragement to speak love into the life of others. So it is no longer about who is my enemy, who has hurt me, for me, it is about whom can I pray for, whom can I encourage.
Blessings to you,
Pamela Douglas-Alvarado, Author, Aromatherapist, Artist