I need to journal today more than ever. I am a mixed bag of anger, joy, peace and angst rolled into one. One minute I want to punch my enemy in the face and then I want to pray for them. I want to grab some people by the scruff of their neck and throw them against a wall. I want to sit down with the same people and listen to why they are so angry, so against others being at peace, so bitter.
I feel pity for them. I feel fury at them. I am a mixed bag and it’s about to burst at the seems.
Last night at the Sufjan Stevens concert, all was well. There was no bitterness or prejudice or anger towards anyone. I want to invite my enemies to a Sufjan Stevens concert because I’m not sure they could come out feeling bitter anymore.
But unfortunately life is not all blazing walls of sound that make you want to jump up and scream with joy. Sometimes there are people who just have to share their beliefs even when it causes pain to others. There are some who don’t want to even try and understand anothers story. There are those who are so sure they are right that other opinions must be met with disdain and arrogance.
Last night I decided enough was enough. I realized that the people who come out with hatred and prejudice don’t need my hatred and prejudice. They need love. They need hope. They need grace.
At my worst, I am broken, arrogant and spiteful. In those moments, when I look in the mirror I don’t see myself but my enemy. So to love myself, I must first love my enemy. Last night, I found myself praying for someone who is clearly carrying a lot of pain and anger because all the words they reveal are ignorant, hateful and offensive. I don’t know if it had any effect on them but it had an effect on me. It brought me to a place of peace where I didn’t need to prove myself.
It’s there that I can be a real hope and change for my enemies. So maybe, it did effect them. Maybe.
But all I know is that anger at injustice is healthy. But turning that anger into peace and grace for those who carry out the injustice is where healing begins. By returning with the same kind of hatred they exhibit, we do nothing more than reveal our own deep pain.
At my best I am peaceful, loving, generous and graceful. And when I see that reflection in the mirror then I can see that in my enemy too.
And it’s hard to hate your enemy when you’re at peace.
Or at a Sufjan Stevens concert.