I hate hating people.
Maybe that’s too strong for what I mean so I’ll just say I hate not liking people.
But you’ve got to agree with me- some humans don’t want to be liked. I think when some of them were born, they took a blood oath to promise to be irritating to all living things.
I remember one particular case. Mehn, this older lady was always in my face. She was always running her personal commentary on everything and everybody and doing so with scriptures.
Like what! Can’t you mind your business?
She never got on my case but somehow she seemed to think I would be a good co-host on her show and would turn to me whenever she got the chance. Like I was a good listener or something.
Then when I started doing all I could to avoid her, I started feeling like she was tailing me. How I hate nonsense. I’d deliberately sit away from her in gatherings but somehow we’ll need to reshuffle and there she would be: sitting right beside me or close enough for me to hear her side comments.
Then there’s my ability to smile at persons that irritate me, making me feel like her partner and a damned hypocrite every day. Somehow she was finding her way into my devotions every morning.
There I would be, planning to worship my Lord and her name would pop up. I’d have to spend minutes lost in one silly situation I witnessed her in, then purge my heart because God said to let go. So let go I would.
Then popped out another case, more purging, another case, more purging, you get the drift. I felt I had better things to do with my prayer life than having it influenced by someone.
To make matters worse. As soon as I was outside my room, there she would be doing something strange again that I’d need to repent of because I just could not resist the temptation of imagining socking her to death.
One morning, I got fed up. I got tired of the stupid anger and hate in my heart towards somebody I did not even know. There was no reason I should feel this way but I just did.
So I really prayed that morning. “Take this hate from me. I don’t know if I can love her the way you love us but I don’t want to go about carrying hate in my heart.” I told God.
That morning as we gathered together for the usual devotion and somehow, I managed to get there early unlike the usual me, God raised the matter of loving each other just as he loves us. Wawu, talk about an ambush.
But what did me in was when the preacher raised Hezekiah Walker’s, “I need you.”
There I stood like a statue as the first verse washed over me. The understanding that that human being in all her irritations was my sister registered in my heart. My blood sister! If I could not stand with or forgive an irritating sister, how could I love a persecuting enemy?
It was a thought that struck me as much as it stuck. There were tears in my eyes as I went up to her and channelling the remaining lyrics of the song to her as I held her hands:
I won’t harm you, with words from my mouth
I love you, I need you to survive.
It is his will, that every living needs supplied
You are important to me,
I need you to survive.
A lot of hate left my heart that morning. You’d think that was the end. No, it wasn’t but I felt better. Whenever I witnessed her habit, I’m able to shake my head without the usual anger.
Here’s what I want to say.
How can you love your enemies when it’s so hard to love your people. These days, the church is divided because we are running an unspoken competition of whose denomination is holiest, more enlightened, has the bigger auditorium. Our racial and tribal difference is what we’re focusing on.
Yet, this is so far from what Jesus preached in John 15:12, “My command is this: Love one another as I have loved you…”
I miss hearing from you. How have you been?💓