Who is my enemy?
Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” ~ Acts 9:10-17
Imagine you are coming home from church one Sunday and you get home and have a vision of God sitting at your kitchen table.
And the Lord says to you: "I want you to go to Guantanamo Bay and speak out for the freedom of one of the prisoners there because he is an instrument I have chosen to preach the gospel to my people."
Setting aside the logistics of that, what might your reaction be?
I'm guessing something like Ananias'.
We can look back knowing who Saul became and how important Paul was for the church and forget that he started out as an enemy.
And not just an enemy, but a murderous, violent enemy.
And Ananias had an understandable reaction to God's calling him to heal Saul.
A reaction we might all have had as well.
Who is the person that you see as an enemy to God?
A person who works against faith and hope and love?
A person who uses violence to bring about suffering to God's people?
Now imagine you are called to love that person.
Only you don't have to imagine it.
Because you are.
Lord, you really meant that love your enemies thing, didn't you? Help me each and every day to remember that and give me the strength and courage to follow through with it, because honestly, it's hard! Amen