Mary at the cross of Jesus -- that was love. Jesus, hanging on the cross to die for our sins -- that was really love. Loving thy neighbor as thyself -- that sometimes feels almost as difficult to us as the task Jesus faced. The question is, are we up to our part of the situation?
Neighbors are a huge challenge. About the only thing that dictates who your neighbors are is the economic half of socio-economic status. The friendly neighborhood drug dealer may be able to match you economically, but what exactly can he offer to the neighborhood mix?
Economic status also does not insure that your neighbor will have the same socio status as you. The friendly neighborhood drug dealer would probably be no more interested in my blog opinions than I am interested in his drugs. And of course, I would be inclined to think I am in the right, just has he thinks he is right. But, people flock to his door for whatever he has to offer. How many flock to mine for my opinion?
The neighborhood drug dealer is easy next to the neighborhood meth maker. That individual doesn't leave it as your choice if you are exposed to illegal drugs. They are airborne with every batch.
Even the neighborhood thief does not measure up in evil intent as much as these. And, are the thieves largely a product of those who manufacture and deal?
Maybe in that world so long ago, it was impossible to conceive of a world as unlovable as the one described. Or maybe God and Jesus used their precognition and knew exactly what would be, yet they expect us to love and pray for all these individuals as well as a whole lot more.
And what a success we could become if we could learn to do just that. It is said that when we do pray for our neighbors, no matter how unlovable they seem today, they turn out not so bad tomorrow.
Now, God, please give me strength to keep on trying.