When I stumbled across this post again it was at a time when I really needed the reminder and I've been waiting for a good time to re-post it. Heading into the New Year seems like the perfect time. I originally entitled this post Coals of Fire in reference to Romans 12:20. There's a lovely article about what that phrase could mean here and a great talk on forgiveness here.
Let us all be a little more loving and a little more forgiving this year. See you in 2011!
A few weeks ago I read Left to Tell: Discovering God Amid the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilabagiza and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. So much of the book was horrific-the deaths, the destruction, the devastating chaos of it all- but what has really stuck with me is Immaculee's faith. Through all the horror, she found it in herself to forgive. And that is an incredibly powerful and freeing thing.
In my ramblings around Twitter I stumbled upon Rainn Wilson (Dwight)'s feed and he links to this site he founded called SoulPancake. SoulPancake is trying to get people to discuss life's big questions; to have discussions about spirituality, creativity and philosophy. For example, someone recently asked the question: Can feminists be feminine? I loved the post and responses.
But a little further down is the question: What will it really take to make loving your enemies possible? In that post they included this beautifully simple video that reminded me of the things I had just learned in Left to Tell:
Love Your Enemies from Kristen Miller on Vimeo.
I'm fortunate that I don't have anyone I could legitimately consider an enemy and, in truth, I couldn't even think of anyone who has wronged me that I need to forgive. But the more I thought about this question, the more I realized that my answer is: making a concerted effort to just love everyone. To see everyone as a child of God, regardless of their choices or how we get along. A general increase of love will go such a long way.
So today I made a greater effort to love. I reached out to someone I usually don't really get along with. I prayed to love someone I struggle with. I was nice to a grumpy cashier at the grocery store. I focused on remembering that we're all children of God.
And you know what? Tonight I feel remarkably at peace. Like the world is a good and beautiful place. So I just thought I'd share the love.