I don’t remember all the details any more, but I dreamed about someone I loathe.
I don’t say only dislike, I also don’t say hate, I loathe them. I have no desire to see or think about them ever again. In my dream I jumped from the top of a set of stairs onto them, driving them into the lower steps at a back-breakingly awkward angle with my fist to their throat. And you thought you were mean in your dreams. They had come into my house uninvited and very much unwelcome, and I was mad. I’m still a little mad, and it was just a dream.
I don’t know why I dreamed that. I don’t know why I did that. I don’t deny it felt pretty good. The thing is, I woke up from that and one thing flashed through my brain:
What have I been teaching you about loving your enemies?
Whoa, Jesus. You just went too far.
I look at people I know and wonder why they have a difficult time loving some of the people I love. Sometimes I even hold it against them. But then there’s this tugging at the back of my mind; what if Jesus actually meant love everyone?
That means love everyone. Not just the people I like. Not even just the people I can tolerate being nice to, no. Love everyone. And any trace of anything not love for anyone… is a warning sign that the love of Jesus isn’t in every fiber of my being because if it were, I wouldn’t have a problem actively loving anyone, because I wouldn’t be able to help but love everyone.
This is sobering to me. That in a perfect union of Jesus in me, there wouldn’t be one soul I would have any problem with touching. I have the tendency to go through life picking and choosing–‘Okay, I like them, I’ll love them. I don’t like them as much, but I can still be nice. I don’t really like that person, but I see their pain; I’ll love them anyway. I can’t stand that person; I don’t even want to think of loving them.’ Granted, other factors play in, and maybe that’s the answer; Jesus’ love cannot be expressed fully through me if I let anger/bitterness/unforgiveness/you-fill-in-the-blank have a hold. So I guess what’s left to say is ‘Jesus, here’s everything. Clean it up for me.’ And then to actually hand over the negative ties I’ve held on to people with. Freedom to love.
So Jesus here it all is. If you want me to love absolutely anyone, especially those you bring into my reach, then I want to love everyone you want me to love. I want to be free to love like no one else but You. I realize to do that the old man’s thoughts have to go; do what you have to so that I can renew my mind in you. I don’t want to hold on to bitterness, grudges or unforgiveness anyway. Show me the specific people you want me to touch directly with your love. You went too far to love me; I want to go too far to love others.