Sunday, April 21, 2013

When Darkness Falls

 "I want to be good. I try to be good. It don't come out good."  An anonymous third grade boy in my class journal.  I know just how he feels. This past week couldn't get any worse and then it did. Everything bad that could happen happened and I found myself seduced by the dark side, negativity at it's worse.  This morning I went to a regular meeting that I facilitate with my friend Bob. The topic of discussion was the bombing at the Boston Marathon. One of the suggested questions was, 'what does it mean to pray for your enemy?'  An older woman was the first to speak up,"Who is your enemy?" 

 Silence filled the room and  I mentally bristled, but thankfully kept my mouth shut for a change.  Then in the silence the flood gates opened and I understood what she was saying with such simple eloquence. I create enemies by the thoughts I hold about them. I create enemies when I harbor ill will and give myself permission to hate. I'll even go one farther,  I create enemies when I give myself permission to be unpleasant or dislike someone because of something they did that annoyed me.  I create enemies when I close my eyes to them, when I choose not to see them as a child of God just like me flaws and all.  

There is darkness in the world, it has always been so and will always be so. When darkness falls it is an invitation for us to choose love, to have faith in the healing power of forgiveness, to have confidence in compassion.  I have a commitment  to live a life of peace. Last week I fell woefully short. The good news is that I get another chance to get it right. I get another chance to stop making enemies and start making peace.  It's either fear of love, baby.