Is it possible to love our enemies? Is it something we can do? Even with God’s help, can we really make a change in our natural inclinations to seek revenge? There was a book I read not too long ago which brought out that question, is it possible? I know that God told us to love our enemies. It didn’t say pretend they aren’t our enemies or act like’s all okay. But, love our enemies. The question comes back – is it possible?
The book I’m referring to, Tea with Hezbollah was focused as the title indicates on the Middle East. However, on a recent trip back home to Kentucky I was reminded of a different instance of this which gives me hope. There is a park next to a reservoir, the water is beautiful, surrounded by cliffs, trees, and is a favorite boating spot. The park looks out over the docks, the activity on the lake from picnic tables under pavilions. A few years ago, driving down the road, passing the entrance to the park I saw a sign which startled me. A small yard sign had been posted with an arrow, Hatfield and McCoy dinner. The Hatfield’s and McCoy’s were two families that were feuding for quite some time. There were people killed on both sides, people who were fearful on both sides. Revenge, hate, and fear were nurtured for far too long. No, it’s not at the scale or the length of time which the factions in the Middle East are facing. But, there were generations involved in this fight.
I had a chance to talk to someone about that, she was in a family on one side of that fight and grew up learning watchfulness. Her father made a choice to not bring the feud into his generation if he could help it. Eventually, there was a tentative peace for this family. Then, there is a time where these people gather together to eat, visit, and have children playing together. There was healing going on that day. It makes me think that it is possible.