She was a walking set of fingernails, and I was her chalkboard. You know the kind. Every time she opened her mouth, screechy-scratchy screeeeetch…
I tried to avoid her cat-claws, but she backed me against the wall every time.
I became wacky with anxiety at the mere thought of another encounter.
So I began to pray for her. I mean REALLY pray for her. Not “God give her headlice and chickenpox so she’ll have something else to scratch;” but “Lord bless her. Whatever is at the root of her behavior, meet her need, and show me how to love her in a way she can receive.”
Over the course of months, you would not believe the change: encouragement replaced suspicion, cheerfulness replaced angst. Oh- I’m not talking about her – I have no idea if she’s changed or not. I only know I am no longer the hard surface her nails need.
So I was freed. To love her.
But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who deliberately miss treat you…
Do good to them, and listen to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He’s kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.