Loving my Enemy

Loving my Enemy
Epiphany 7; Luke 6:27-38
To call that man my enemy
would seem too strong a claim,
yet still I feel unloving,
remembering his name.

A bully in the workplace
the three of us agreed.
It’s fifteen years behind me,
and still I am not freed.

One dived into a bottle,
one left for pastures green.
I plodded on, diminished,
with wounds that felt unclean.

I never learnt to stand there
and turn the other cheek,
though fight and flight had failed me,
and tears and fears seemed weak.

So Jesus, though your teaching
could truly set me free,
and keep the world from warfare,
how hard it seems to be!

I try to understand him,
his hidden hurt and strain.
I see the need for loving,
but anger clings to pain.

The secret of forgiveness –
“They know not what they do!” –
is born of such deep loving
it can make all things new.

I pray to want renewal:
undo this knot within,
so I look back unflinching,
and let your love flow in.
	Barbara Messner 15/02/2022

2 thoughts on “Loving my Enemy

  1. A beautiful poem and a clear way to help folks unravel this difficult text. Not as bound by lectionary as your tradition is I was able to add it to last week’s lesson on Sunday, but if I had this, I might not have done so.


  2. This was a painfully personal poem, based on an experience at the beginning of my ministry. Perhaps it was the fear of being diminished by retirement (farewell service this Sunday) that connected with the gospel and brought this to mind.


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