Love is hard. Especially when it is this type of Jesus love that is supposed to go towards everybody. I mean, it is super easy to love friends, family, even strangers aren’t that hard to love. What is hardest is when people say or do dumb things. For whatever reason, I have an excellent memory for offenses. Holding grudges is bad and toxic. A good friend of mine used to say that holding a grudge is like swallowing the poison and waiting for your enemy to die. But when things happen that are upsetting, they just burn and fester in my stomach. Forgetting and loving the person that cast me aside so carelessly is so hard.
At work a while ago, a friend was commenting on her friend that has bipolar; saying that he was an idiot for not taking his meds. Well bipolar meds kind of suck. As do many other drugs. They can numb, stress, hurt, shake, choke, constipate, irritate, blur, tranquillize, enervate, nauseate, deaden. Just to name a few of the things that can occur as a result of taking medications. As such, it is completely reasonable for someone to stop taking them. I’ve done that a few times myself, and I’ve only been on meds for a year. How am I supposed to love someone who is so willing to critique and disconnect from a friend who clearly needs love?
Another time someone commented that he didn’t mind gays, just as long as they stayed far away from him. Really? What are you afraid of? Are we going to infect you with our gayness? Are you afraid that we will suddenly throw ourselves on you? Sexualize you beyond what anyone would ever do (especially given…..nevermind). Fortunately, a good friend stepped in and redirected the conversation so that I could just sit and fume and not hurt anyone. And I haven’t even come out to that friend yet. How am I supposed to love someone who can’t stand to be around me?
The careless comments. The subtle stabs. They hurt. Those evil “gays” or dangerous “crazies” aren’t just some anonymous group to be villianized and victimized. Nor do we want pity. Just accept us as us. Don’t love me even though I’m gay. Don’t love me even though I’m bipolar. Just love me. As me. No add-ons. No qualifications. Just as is.
And I will try to calm my troubled heart. Maybe learn to turn a deaf ear towards these hurtful and ignorant comments. Because I need to do better on that too. Recognize that the goal is never to hurt. Those who say such things just don’t know, and I haven’t really started waving the rainbow flag yet to help them know. In that, I should probably seek forgiveness. Forgiveness for holding contempt against someone who I have kept at such a distance that they couldn’t possibly get to know me or be aware of my overtly moody sensitivity to pretty much everything ever. Also something I should work on.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall arevile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven.” -Matt. 5:3-12
Perhaps I need to work on forgiving them, that I may be forgiven. On helping them, that I may be helped. On serving them, that I may experience true love from God. Maybe we can all use a little polishing. Until that point, maybe I can just move forward in patience and love. With extra patience.