"But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you."
I'd say this is one of the hardest things for me to do at times. My instinct is to defend, justify, even avoid. I don't want to be around people who hate me! Who does? But the truth is, whether hated or not, we are faced with the challenge to love everyday. Love is most definitely a choice. A choice of selflessness. If I'm honest with myself, it can even be hard at times to truly love those dearest to me....let alone, those who hate me/curse me/abuse me! I'm not one who thinks love can fix all things, but as a Christian, I do believe I am called to love regardless.
Now, let's make it a bit more complicated. How about when someone hates/curses/abuses one who is dear to you??? Yea, that raises a different hair doesn't it!? It most certainly does for me! Even as I type it. I was just having this conversation with a very dear friend of mine after witnessing her son become unusually upset by a recent incident. Not because someone was mistreating him, but because someone was mistreating one of my children, his friend, someone he cares for. I believe he was fully ready to defend his friend, whatever the cost, when had the ill treatment been directed at him, he most likely would have ignored it. I am thankful for his genuine care and consider it honorable.
So how do you do both? How do you love on both ends of the spectrum, and defend the defenseless at the same time? How is there balance in the two? This is a personal struggle I face almost daily. I think what I have realized for myself is that it all comes down to the motives of my heart. When I stop to more deeply consider my reactions of defense, justification and avoidance they are with the genuine heart of protection in mind. Especially as a mother. I believe those motives are pure. And while my reaction may at times seem harsh or even unloving, as long as my motives are of pure heart, then I believe I am indeed acting in love. For love is not the romantic, gushing emotion portrayed to us through movies and novels. Love is constant. Present. Real. Unshaken. Love takes responsibility for the blessings it is given. Love is selfless.
This is the kind of love I believe God has chosen to display on a regular basis and throughout history, through mothers. A mother's love and nurturing is irreplaceable in a child's life and is like no other. And with that thought, I wish all the selfless mothers out there, who are constant, present, real, unshaken and counting their blessings everyday a very Happy Mother's Day!
"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path." ~Agatha Christie