Today's Act of Random Christianity: Express love to someone who has been an enemy. #ActsofRandomChristianity
That was my assignment yesterday. And honestly, it was a stretch. I have only gone to confession the last few years over this issue, and finally, my stubborn heart finally softened enough to be loving. However, it was an act of love, as I can be quoted in saying, "Actions speak louder than words." I owed this action to someone I love, and it was out of that love, that I was able to swallow a heaping helpful of pride and put on my big girl panties. Literally, big girl panties, since darn it if my efforts at the YMCA have not shrunken me enough to get out of them. Is it wrong that my seven year old son has a jacket this is smaller than my panties? Hmm.. think on that.
Anyway, I will only say that I was loving, and while religion is a lot of things, it is not judgmental. (If done properly.) My action was a pure desire to be a true example to myself . If anyone benefited from the act, great. If not, I can know that I did the right thing. Knowing that I did the right thing, and knowing that I didn't wait for the Lenten season this year, made me really think. If I could love someone who has been the enemy, could I love those that have not been an enemy, any better?
Well, G-d didn't wait too long before he started throwing challenges my way. Like, say, this morning! We attended a Mass time we don't usually attend, and ran into a person that I had difficulties with, when I was volunteering with the religious education program this past Fall. As you recall, I ended up withdrawing both of my children from the program, and now, they will have to be on a delayed schedule for their First Holy Communion. While that disappoints me, it was the only solution after trying to work through and resolve a very unhealthy situation. I take religious education very seriously, and they take it in survival mode. The line from "Mr. Mom" comes to mind... "Jack, you're doing it wrong!" Ultimately, I am responsible for my children's religious education, and will have to find a more suitable option, in the future. In the mean time, I need to find grace and peace with everyone. So I did. I smiled. I silently blessed her and what I assumed was a pregnancy, and asked for G-d to give her the knowledge, in order to make positive changes for the program that we could not continue with. I meant every bit of it. While it would have been easy to anger when she treated me not as warmly, I was sad for her that she obviously was not comfortable. In time, she too will be there.
Here is what I honestly remind myself, and tell my children, at least once a day- G-d made you. He loves you. He made all the people. He loves them all, just as much. It hurts him when we hurt his other children. Simple. And yet, I get a comment about it from someone who says we should not treat people badly because of their own stupidity. I would only hope that I am not that pretentious. Correction- I would only hope that others actions speak louder than those words.