Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Praying for the Enemy

I was chatting with my sister last night. Moments like that are treasures for me, even though Facebook Messenger makes it often and throughout the day. Growing up adopted, I always longed for a sister even though I thought my brother was pretty darn cool. It wasn't until I was an adult that I finally found her. My biological sister? No. But someone who grabbed hold of a piece of me and through all my emotional tsunamis, my blunt and tactless opinions, my conversational whiplash, and my oddities and quirks, she hangs in there. Every day, every night, every moment. It's hard when people ask me, "Is she really your sister?" What am I supposed to say? "No"? "Not by blood"? Bloodlines never really meant all that much to this adoptee, so qualifying someone who's burrowed into my soul as "not really my sister" seems strange. 

But the beauty of family struck me as we chatted. We were having a fairly passive conversation about the elections, and agreeing that people--namely Christians--need to be cautious they don't point out their perception of evil with the hatred and mudslinging that they despise in the candidates. I realized I've been guilty of a bit of harsh words myself lately, mostly in private, but does it really make a difference? 

My last word to her before I fell asleep was "#convicted".

Family and friends, relationships, are what Christ created. It was precious to Him. Did He, God, need us? No. I firmly believe He would have been quite well off without humanity, and yet He chose to create us. He chose to design relationships that can span ancestry and become family. 

Two verses popped into my mind (and that's a miracle in itself, because I have the retention of a goldfish). "Love one another-the greatest of these is love" (Jaime paraphrase), and "Pray for your enemies". 

Pray for my enemies? Why? Isn't it crucial, especially in this month, to point out the wrong, the anti-truth, and the blasphemy in our political standards? Truth is truth, after all, and someone needs to zealously stand for it in a time when lines don't seem to exist any longer. Even Jesus called the Pharisees a "brood of vipers", so He wasn't above calling people out either. 

...but He still died for the brood of vipers...
...He still loved even as He spoke truth ...

Relationships are an integral part of God's design for humanity. They become pictures of the unity we were meant to experience with God until Eve messed things up and Adam was oh so fast to follow. (My daughter frequently blames them when she "sins"). Relationships are also not limited to the family you were born into, the church you've always attended, the core group you couldn't live without ... or even your sister (by blood or by adoption).

Relationships extend to the mystery lurker in the shadows on Facebook who is reading your words, your "truth-speaking", your opinions, bias, or beliefs. Relationships reach the old friend you connected with on social media with joy but questions whether they should unfriend you since their own Christianity is up for grabs considering they support a different candidate--who's obviously not the "going Christian candidate". Relationships span across the lunch table as you eat a taco with a co-worker and share your ideas and thoughts. Relationships are in the readers who see your words and your passions splayed for the world to see.

I went to sleep last night praying for the candidate I most abhor. It was a very uncomfortable feeling, I must admit, but something strange happened. When I woke this morning, I was filled with immense gratefulness for my sister who isn't afraid to call things the way she's sees them, but laces her opinions with love and empathy. But, I was also filled with something else. A deep passion to continue to pray for my enemy--or the candidate I most abhor. In fact, while I still am 150% sure we'd agree on very little, I care for them this morning. I care for their heart, their soul, their spirit. I want to see them through the eyes of Christ ... who died for them, and would die only for them, if needed. 

Because when honesty is laced with love it becomes something far less abrasive and infinitesimally more effective. 

Relationships should be guarded, treasured, and above all, rooted in the love we're commanded to have. Because in the end, when it all drifts away and we stand in eternity and look around to see who stands beside us, I want to see my enemies there. Stripped to our soul-core, we are really all the same after all.

Failures. In need of grace. In need of family. In need of Christ.


Professional coffee drinker & ECPA/Publisher's Weekly best-selling author, Jaime Jo Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing spirited turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Coffee fuels her snarky personality. She lives in Neverland with her Cap’n Hook who stole her heart and will not give it back, their little fairy TinkerBell, and a very mischievous Peter Pan. The foursome embark on scores of adventure that only make her fall more wildly in love with romance and intrigue.
Jaime lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures atjaimejowright.com.

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