Love and Enemies

“Love your enemies,” Jesus says.

But how?

What does it mean to love
those who hurt us?

And it seems to me,
the closer they are,
the harder it is to love
the ones who treat me badly.

What does love look like
when the rift
is wide, spiky, painful?

Someone close to me appears to have cut me off, and as I try to come to terms with this state of the relationship, the above thoughts are bumping around in my heart.

Sometimes, I feel so angry I could spit. Sometimes, I am full up with rage. Forget you, I think, you don’t want anything to do with me? Same here – I want nothing to do with you.

Sometimes I feel so hurt and betrayed that I want to hide in a corner, with a soft blanket, sheltered.

Sometimes, miraculously, I feel compassion for the one who is hurting me, feeling the pain of the other; feeling the aloneness of the other; and knowing how the response to hurt is too often to turn that hurt outward. In this case, toward me.

So. What then is the response of love in this relationship that feels so completely severed? How do I stand in the strength and truth of my body, soul, heart and spirit, and allow space for the other do the same?

Oh my God –

How I wish I had the answers.

How I wish I knew my way through
this entangled woods.

How I wish for a path clear and smooth and thornless.

How I wish.