And it strikes when I least expect it, on the days when we should be most kind. Cruelty has many different forms, all of them ugly and awful, but inexplicably, this special brand of selfishness strikes me as one of the worst.
You think I am unreasonable and impatient and rude and selfish, and maybe that's true. But the other part of the truth is this-- I hate your selfishness because I see it how it's chipping away your humanity.
As I watch you, here, on the battlefield between selfishness and sacrifice, choose what feels easiest or best for you over and over, I know you kill a part of yourself each time. I know when you do this, when you put your own desires over the desires or the needs of others, when you harm or destroy another human, you are destroying yourself.
You are desperate to be loved, yet over and over you try to buy it by clawing at the hearts of those around you. I've watched you, time and again, grasp and scratch and bite for what you think is yours, unwittingly driving away all those you so wish loved you.
Tell me, do you think you became lovable when you'd worked hard enough? When you gave your first gifts, contributed to society? When you gained the approval of those around you by falling into line with their expectations? Or was it when your existence became pleasurable and convenient for another human being?
I defy this lie you believe, the one you tell with your actions, the one that says the beloved is worthy of love only when it behaves or looks or sounds a certain way.
Here's a secret-- you are already loved more than you can imagine.
The beloved was adored in the sheepfolds, and when it refused to open the door, and when it wailed with pain as it clambered on stones too sharp for its tender feet. The beloved was always the beloved, because the Lover always chose to love.
Until you and I get that into our heads, and more importantly into our hearts, we will always be a sniveling pathetic shadow of Love. You can live there if you wish, but as long as you do, you will never know what you are really craving.
Let go of your rights, let go of trying to protect yourself, let go of being strong, let go of trying to scrape love out of the empty bowls of other human hearts. You will always be humiliated, and you will always be wounded, and you will always be weak, and you will always be starved, until you stop scratching and grasping and just be.
For every time you claw at His children, you will be held accountable. I don't say it to be vengeful, but because it's true, and because I need remember for myself. The Lover will only hold His hand so long, before He brings justice for His beloved.
And then, may Christ have mercy on us both.