Learning to Love the Unlovely

By Sharon Gamble

 You have heard it
was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you; Love your
enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your
Father in heaven.  He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends
rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
  Matthew 5:43-44
 Shortly after we moved to New Hampshire, I innocently took my
dog on a walk one day.  I carried with me two plastic bags to take care of any
doggie business that might take place along the way.  As I passed a house around
the corner and up the hill from mine, I was suddenly accosted by two Very Angry
Persons.  They came racing out of their house and stood near me on the sidewalk
and berated me for letting my dog mess on their lawn.  The only thing was…I
hadn’t done this terrible thing.  In fact, we had just started our walk and
nothing of that nature had yet occurred.  However, I was allowed no chance to
speak and was sworn at and ordered to GO!!  JUST GO!!  And so I went.  I was
shaking like a leaf.  Hoo boy.  Well, not long before that, God had taught me
the lesson of loving my enemies and praying for those who persecute me, so I
started praying for this irate couple and asking God to bless them.  As I
finished my walk, I felt His urging to bake them cookies.  Oh dear me.  Bake
them cookies and knock on their actual DOOR?  After they had yelled and sworn at
me?  YES.  So, I baked those cookies and prayed with my family and brought my
cell phone in case they hurt me when I knocked on their door and in fear and
trembling went back to their house without the dog.  When I knocked on the door,
the lady of the house immediately opened it and was weeping.  She was so glad I
had come.  It seems the real culprit was another woman with a similar black dog
who passed by them a second time after I had left them in bewilderment.  She
said she never acted the way she had acted towards me and she was so embarrassed
and could I forgive her and…cookies? Thank you.  What a happy ending…and what a
surprise to me!
Oh the sweetness of the Lord to give us this good word about
how to deal with enemies!  It’s so foolish to let bitterness eat us up inside
when someone is unkind to us.  Usually, people who are unkind are very unhappy
people and need our prayers far more than our defensive and angry responses.  As
I ponder who my “enemies” often are, I realize they are often people who hurt my
children.  If a teacher or another student was unkind to my girls when they were
little, I confess to you that I did not always pray blessings on them.  How I
wish I had!  When we pray in our Moms in Prayer groups, let’s remember that
angry people are people with deep hurts.  Let’s pray for God’s very best for
them:  Father, would you show this person Your great love?  Whatever wounds
he or she carries, please heal them.  Show them that they are never too far from
You that they can’t turn.  Remind them that You look for the lost sheep.  You
RUN toward the prodigal son.  You delight to give mercy to those who need it. 
Help me to show Your love even to my enemies so that my enemy can become my
brother or sister in Christ and someday stand before Your throne and lift his or
her hands high in praise to You, the King, beside me.  In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

You
are loved!
Sharon
Gamble

USA
National Director
Moms in Prayer International

Comments 2

  1. Love this post Sharon! Such a wonderful reminder of what to do when we feel slighted, accosted, misunderstood, rejected…when we shake our heads in judgement at a person spouting off. So true, more than anything, they need our prayers.

  2. Sharon, I just love you. You are such a blessing. Continuously! Miss your in person stories. Missed you this weekend, but know God has good things ahead for us. Of course, I am sharing and blessed by the post!

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