19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:19-24)
There is a woman who works at Planned Parenthood, who used to get a ride to work. She arrives after I get there, and for months I kind of disregarded her. One day, I realized that I never talked to her. Why? Maybe because she is black.Am I a racist? I never thought so, but there is a blonde white woman working there, who leaves after the black woman arrives, and I call her to account; so I can only think that I let this woman slide because she is black. Of course it may have been because she got a ride to work, and I could imagine the conversations around the dinner table about me that night (racism or fear of man: which is the greater sin?) I repented of this silence to God and to her, and began to talk to her each time she arrived.
A month or so ago, she got her own vehicle. It's a van. Soon after she got it, she started parking it across the alley. This means she has to cross my path to get to work. I have noticed that she does this even when there are plenty of parking places at Planned Parenthood. Just yesterday, I realized how delightful this is, and that it must be because God directs her in this. If God puts her in my path, who am I to keep silent?
I have talked to her about sin, guilt, innocent blood. I have talked to her about income and jobs, and responsibilities.
43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)Yesterday, I told her that I would like to sit down with her and help her find a bloodless job. She turned around and faced me, and shouted at me to not harass her when she comes to work. I told her that I want to help her, and that a woman with her skills and compassion ought to have a job where she can help people and not help to kill people.
She spent more time there with me than was necessary. I totally expected the guard or escorts to surround her, but they left her out in the open and vulnerable. It seemed like a very long time, and afterward, I was shaken.
11 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20 whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. (I John 3:11-24; emphasis added)
What have I done? I have been thinking about this ever since! Even after a war protester came and diverted our attention from the imminent death of helpless children, who cannot hide, fight back or even cry out, to the war in Iraq, where thousands of humans, made in God's image have died in the past years of the war.
(Can we compare the two? Four thousand children yesterday in America alone compared to how many thousands of men, women and children over the past 6 years. Besides, why must it be assumed that just because a person does not want to kill unborn children, that they are blood-thirsty war mongers? This was a distraction, but I did not know how to diffuse it. I regret my behaviour.)
The black woman who works at Planned Parenthood is an enemy of God. Therefore, according to Psalm 139, she is my enemy as well. How did Jesus command me to treat my enemy? With love. What did I John say about love? It is more than words, but action and truth. I hope that she will take me up on the offer. I hope to sit down with her over coffee or a bowl of chili, and search with her for a job... and share the gospel with her.