When we can see the image of God where we don’t want to see the image of God, then we see with eyes not our own. ~Richard Rohr
God said love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.
I’m confident in my ability to love my neighbors. They’re good people who mow their grass, play with their kids, and only play loud music on New Year’s Eve.
A scribe asked how much of his neighborhood’s loud music he had to endure. Jesus answered with the story of the Good Samaritan.
But he didn’t stop there. Jesus also told us to love and pray for our enemies.
America has enemies. Terrorists who want to rid us from the earth only because we are Americans. But mostly we only have neighbors. We live in a safe place, surrounded by good people.
I think a better question for our insulated American lives is who is my enemy?
Is my “enemy” the one who lives her life in direct disobedience to God, flashing her promiscuous lifestyle in my face? Do I wrinkle my nose when I talk about her?
Perhaps my enemy is a politician who votes for federal abortion clinics. Or convenience store owners who push gambling hot spots. Maybe my enemy leads the education system that says all children need gender training.
Possibly my enemy is a high ranking officer who gets away with sexual harassment. Or a professor who practices racial discrimination. Or a wealthy family that enters college unfairly.
What if one of these enemies came to church on Sunday? Would I sit beside them, clasp their hand in mine, and pray together?
Would I clean their wounds, pay for their lunch?
Who is my enemy, Lord?
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:19-21 ESV