“To love another person is to see the face of God.” –Les Miserables
Our world is amuck with physical and verbal violence towards the ‘others’. The news cycles and headlines are intended to keep the drama going of one group vs. another. They profit off of our dissent. Anti-democrat, Anti-republican, Anti-muslim, Anti-christian, Anti-western world, Anti-left, Anti-right, Anti-immigrant, Anti-nationalist, Anti-globalist, Anti-police, Anti-minority, Anti-gun, Anti-gun control . . . you name the explosive issue, the media exploits the divisions as a kind of control over their profits. What is lost is the best of humanity.
As a follower of Jesus, I’m for peace and I live under a command and a calling to love my neighbor as myself. All of my neighbors. All of my ‘others’. Those who love me and those who hate me, I cannot get out from under the command to love my neighbor. All of them. I have a calling to love my enemies, to bless and not to curse. I don’t have a choice. If I claim to follow Him, but hate another, I am a liar. The ancient Scriptures don’t leave any wiggle room there. It breaks my heart to live amongst the violence of our actions and our words, this is not the way it was intended to be. We can be more than this, but it requires living out of a different center.
The reality is I nor we are capable of this kind of love. It is God initiated. I John 4:7-10 outlines the possibilities of our capabilities:
“My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.”
So I am getting more intentional with my time, attention and influences. I am outlining the sources that I am giving time and attention to that give input to my heart, mind and soul which lead to my behavior. I want peace so I need to be filled with peace. I want love for all so I need to be receiving the kind of love that is capable of loving all, including my enemies. If I want to see the ‘other’ and love them, I need to see them as the face of God.
This life is short, it won’t last long. Peace and love is a worthy cause in a world of violence, it’s the best intention of humanity. Let’s be good neighbors to one another today.