Prayer in Temptation vii

Love

43 You have heard people say, “Love your neighbors and hate your enemies.” 44 But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you. 45 Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong. 46 If you love only those people who love you, will God reward you for that? Even tax collectors love their friends. 47 If you greet only your friends, what’s so great about that? Don’t even unbelievers do that? 48 But you must always act like your Father in heaven.

I can do love.
That warm,
generous
feeling;
that filling
of compassion
and care;
the willingness to sacrifice,
put someone else first,
meet their needs
above mine.

I can do love.
when I feel love,
know security,
bask in the wonder
of another’s care
of me.

I can do love,
love those around me,
those like me,
those I understand,
those,
if I am honest,
I approve of,
those who love me.

And yet

You ask me
also to love those
who I don’t get,
those who I don’t understand,
who don’t understand me,
those who hurt me
and make me feel bad.

Can I do that kind of love?
Let in those I am afraid of,
open myself up to them?
Long to care for them,
even though,
apparently,
they care so little for me?

To love only my friends,
my kind,
my supporters,
costs me little.
It is no real sacrifice,
for I get so much from it.

But your way
is to love without barriers,
to love without
ever hoping to get anything back,
to give,
and keep on giving.
because it is not about me,
but about you.

Lead me not into temptation.
Not to take the easy route,
but to love those who really need loving,
who may have no one else,
who find it hard to be loved;
then I am loving your way.

Give me your strength
and your love.
Because the most amazing thing
is that you love me.

Teach Me To Love

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