Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Words Come Back To Haunt Me

It was September 13th of this year and I was in somewhat of a blue funk.  Don't ask me exactly  what that is but it just sounds like somewhere one would rather not be.   One of my sisters in community made a suggestion.  She said, "Why don't you check out the reflection you wrote for today in the Living Faith Publication."  I decided to take a look as I hadn't gotten around to reading it yet.   It was a reflection on Luke  6: 27-38 and I had focused on this text:

...Love your enemies...
...pray for those who mistreat you.

All I can say is that after reading it I thought:  SOMETIMES YOUR OWN WORDS COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU.   Here is my reflection:

In reading our gospel for today you may be tempted to ask, “Is this good news?”   Who among us knows how to love with such generosity?   This kind of loving requires a bigheartedness that you probably think you don’t own.   This is precisely where you are into flawed thinking.  You already possess this Christ-like love though it may be  dormant from underuse    We probably all have a tendency to wonder why we should  waste our love on enemies.  Yet love is never wasted.   Difficult as it is, our squandered  love may be a bandage for someone’s tormented soul. 

To help you with this difficult assignment I am giving you a new name.  It is actually a name Jesus gave to you. Your new name is ‘be merciful’.  Thus as you continue reflecting on Jesus’ poignant  yet somewhat distressing mandate to love your enemies, let your new name wash over you like a cleansing antibiotic.   Imagine being freed from harmful toxins in your body simply because you are loving when it isn’t easy.  [My P.S. to this is that living in community isn't always easy]  But it's good!  ...and by the way, no one was really mistreating me!

Incidentally, reflecting on community living I chose the photo above (borrowed from the web) because the birds on the line remind me of community.  There can be support in togetherness.  However, if you look further down on the branch you will see a little frozen loner.  I've been meditating on that loner.   The trick seems to be knowing how to juggle solitude and community.  Thus knowing when to join the group is wisdom.  And knowing when to step out of the group for awhile is also wisdom.


...and don't forget to be merciful
to yourself and to others.


  1. Thank you for this gracious and rather timely reminder! There are some growing pains happening in my seminary community as we come together this year and I find myself struggling somewhere in the middle.

  2. Beautiful photo! thanks for the reminder of the wisdom to be merciful even when it is not easy!

  3. It seems that having wisdom is the hardest of all.