"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Know It Sounds Crazy

Francis Chan writes, “True faith is loving a person after he has hurt you;” but to do so in today’s society warrants a “crazy” sign to be hung around our neck. Isn’t that what happened to the Amish when they forgave the man who walked into their children’s school and killed their daughters in 2006? “True love makes you stand out,” Chan continues. Indeed it does, mainly because it's so rare, I think.

I don’t know about you but my first response when someone has done something hurtful to me or someone I love is retaliation. My human nature is to make them pay for the pain; to give them a taste of their own medicine. But this crazy kind of love to which Jesus calls us doesn’t leave room for that. There’s no place for bitterness or revenge or resentment; only forgiveness.

Luke records Christ as saying, “If you love those who love, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. … But love your enemies, do good to them… Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High.” In other words, we never look more like our heavenly Father – in fact He even calls us His son (or daughter) – than when we purely love someone who doesn’t love us back. That's a crazy love.

In The Magnificent Defeat, Frederick Buechner wrote, “The love for equals is a human thing – of friend for friend, brother for brother. It is to love what is loving and lovely. The world smiles. The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing – the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely. This is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world. The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing – to love those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice, the love of the poor for the rich, of the black man for the white man. The world is always bewildered by its saints. And then there is the love for the enemy – love for the one who does not love you but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain. The tortured’s love for the torturer. This is God’s love. It conquers the world.” Those are large words. It’s an even larger challenge.

Could it be that our faith is never more real or more true than when we truly forgive and, in essence, truly love?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been called crazy, mentally unstable and in need of serious treatment because I choose to forgive and to love, to truly love. I have tremendous faith. Faith in God, faith in love, faith in the ones that I love. I have faith, that one day, the love I given, will reflect in the one I have chosen to forgive. I am not crazy, but someone who takes a vow they made very seriously. I choose to love and forgive no matter what I am called or what is said about me. I choose love, for the reward I know will be great.