Love God and love your neighbor—Jesus made it pretty simple. He didn’t make it easy, though. Loving God includes having faith, which is confidence in things hoped for and the assurance of things unseen. And guess who our “neighbor” includes? Our enemies, too.
Simple, not easy. At times they almost seem like impossible things—faith and enemy loving, that is. Believing in the midst of tragedy that God is working for your good can almost feel like a bad joke. Forgiving someone who hasn’t asked nor feels any remorse for their wrongdoing can feel downright counterintuitive, even unjust.
But much of the beautiful, mysterious aspects of life are just that—counterintuitive, irrational, illogical, nonsensical, absurd, unfair, illusive, confusing, backwards...
The phrase “few will find it” we hear Jesus say when referring to the small gate and narrow road makes a lot of sense when you think about the counter-cultural, upside-down path of grace. Receiving what you do not deserve in a post-enlightenment, post-scientific revolution, modern society can sound kind of whack.
But it’s what we need. It’s what I need. It’s the timeless paradox of what’s high is low and what’s low is high, to be first is to be last, death brings life. It creates a serious tension, a tension we are forced to reckon with as we clash with a world that pushes back.
I’m at a phase in life where supernatural ideas are met with much more skepticism, fiction is even harder to read, and loving my “enemy” seems like an impossible endeavor. But I persist, I continue to try to dream, to hope, to believe in impossible things.
The impossible moves us forward, out of our own hangups and failures, out of the darkness, into a light that’s always been beckoning, since the beginning of time.
Books I recommend: