Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hard To Love

"I give up! Some people are so hard to love!" my heart screamed. As tears rolled down my cheek, the ache in my heart turned to anger. Deeply wounded from the careless words hurled at me from another, I tossed the series of unfortunate events over in my mind and concluded that some people are just unlovable. With burning eyes and a broken heart, I decided life would be easier if I just stopped trying so hard to love the difficult people in my life.

Still, there wasn't time to sulk properly, for the responsibilities of a busy mom simply don't wait for heartbreak. My son had a taekwando class scheduled and we had to leave in a few minutes. Momentarily setting aside my pain, I pulled myself together and drove Jack to his Taekwando school.

Having promised my him that I would stay and watch, I sat down and waited for Jack's class to begin. Meanwhile, a lower belt class was just finishing up and their faces reflected discouragement. Looking at their expressions, I could feel their frustration and it was a feeling close to my heart as well.

In that moment, the lead instructor called the group to "take a knee" as he offered validation and encouragement. "I see your faces. You are right. This IS hard," he said frankly. "Earning a black belt IS hard. It is suppose to be hard. Most things worthwhile in life ARE hard," he continued wisely. "But, you have a patient teacher and I am here to help you. Just don't give up."

Though the teacher was not aware of the way God was speaking through him, I knew God was talking directly into my troubled heart. All at once, I didn't hurt so much. The words, filled with wisdom and truth, acted as a healing balm to my troubled spirit. God had seen it all and he understood my pain. Loving IS hard.

Then, a scripture crept quietly into my mind and has challenged me ever since. For God has called his children to love the unlovable.

You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.(Matthew 5:40-48 NLT)

Our ability to love has little to do with our own abilities. For love is not a feeling, but an act of worship. The sad truth is that some people are indeed unlovable. Love them anyway!

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