N.B. Have you ever looked up to someone, and been let down by something they did? Or placed someone on a pedestal, and later watched them fall from it? Or maybe you've trusted someone, and then been lied to? Or believed in someone, only to have them give up on you? I have.
Afterwards, the process is much like grieving. There is denial - they wouldn't do that. It can't be true. Then there is anger - how dare they do that! What were they thinking? They're not going to get away with this. My anger faded into hurt, and feeling betrayed. Let down. Rejected. And do you know what happened after that? I saw God. It wasn't one of those vision, dream, appartition kind of ways. But I saw God in the situation. Felt his heart ache, his comfort, and his love. And perhaps learnt a bit about what Jesus meant for us when he told us to love our enemies.
I don't think I have ever had a real enemy. But what if our enemies aren't just the people seeking to destroy us, though they are hard to love too. What if maybe, our enemies are those people we envy? Or maybe they are the people we never accept? Maybe they are our ex-friends? Maybe they are the people who mildly annoy us. Maybe they are those we used to trust? Used to look up to. The people we once put on a pedestal, or those we used to believe in. What if we find it harder to love those people, because they abused our trust, let us down, got close to us, and later betrayed us? Maybe they are the Judas', or the Thomas'; or the Peters'? Maybe they are the people who let us down in our hour of need. Maybe they are the people who are supposed to love us, like our parents, or our siblings, or our children?
I don't know about you, but they are the people I struggle to love the most. Then again, maybe the are the ones who need our love most of all. I've heard it said: love is a dangerous game. And it's right. To love, is to risk being hurt. To open yourself up to rejection, betrayal and pain. But does that make the loving any less worth it? No.
One of my favourite songs at the moment is 'Yet' by Switchfoot. The bridge of the song goes like this:
"If it doesn't break your heart it isn't love,
No, if it doesn't break your heart it's not enough
Cause it's when you're breaking down
With your insides coming out
That's when you find out what your heart is made of."
If you've never trusted anyone and been lied to, or believed in someone and had them give up on you, or love someone and had your heart broken - have you loved enough?