In response to my last post a friend sent me a quote from the Bible. I had to read it several times before I understood what it was suggesting. Not merely suggesting, the view point was very strongly stated. When I understood what the quote meant, I thought "Jesus was audacious", and I meant that in the most admiring way. And then I thought, "This is too much to ask from me, but what an interesting challenge."
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
[Matthew 5:44-46 KJV]
I do have enemies, but if I must be honest, they are mostly imaginary. They are the people who would sneer at my life. They are the people who think that they are better than me, and who I, in moments of self loathing, might agree with. My enemy thinks that schizophrenic people are less worthy of life than people who have no mental disease. My enemy thinks that I should give up the ghost, accept no money from the government, live simple and below sight, and be thankful that society does not outright demand my death. They want the strong to prosper and the weak to not be a burden. They celebrate the strong and vilify the weak. My enemy would never wish to have a conversation with me because I am a person of no account, I have nothing interesting to offer, simply, I'm not worth their time.
I think, perhaps, that my enemy has a no compassion and extreme prejudice. I don't know where my enemy exists. Perhaps there are members of the Aryan Nation who think this way. Some very conservative Republicans. Maybe a member of the New York City elite, someone who is spoiled, who was born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Or someone who was once poor and has struggled for everything they possess. People who believe in the Superman, that only the fittest should survive, and that their friends are mostly superior people. Probably my enemy is Atheist.
I don't know why I have invented such people, I don't know why I care that they exist. But I believe I can feel their hatred towards me. And I cringe. A part of me realizes that this is probably more than a little paranoid. A madness where you feel persecuted, in harms way, and a victim.
There is a possible way in which my enemies were formed. I am more than a little disappointed in myself, self-rejecting, and I projected that rejection outward onto the formless face of a stranger. The thing that I hate, my illness, and the future that I fear, my death, become someone else's passionate concern.
My husband pointed out to me that the Bible quote may have been sent with a different intent. If God loves you and your enemies, how easy it is for him to love you when you are not at your best. His love is a big, broad umbrella.