P.S. “I Love You.”

Friday, June 7

6-7By Dianna Vanderkarr of Flint, Michigan, USA

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.”

—Matthew 5:43–45

During our son’s recovery after intruders shot him in his home, I have had time to share precious time with him. During one moment, he shared about the grace God has given him in allowing him to forgive.

He related that if one of the young intruders were caught and able to turn his life around, then that is what my son would want. He did not want vengeance or “an eye for an eye,” but grace. We learn from our children, no matter their age or ours. I’m reminded how vulnerable we are to God’s grace which was freely given to my family, expressed through my son’s words. I’m reminded that we can also extend grace to others.

P.S. I always end a phone conversation with family by saying, “I love you.” I never know when it will be the last time to say those words to them. It’s important to me.

Prayer for Peace
God of grace, we would open ourselves to the forgiveness with which you bless us. Help us soften our hearts that we may forgive others. May we follow your guidance to love our enemies, even when it’s a challenge. Take from us all indifference to pain and suffering. Help us feel compassion and weep with your tears. May all our actions be peaceful.

Spiritual Practice: Forgiveness
Sit in silence for a few minutes releasing all thoughts. At the end of the silence, say a silent prayer of gratitude. Now, think of something you have not forgiven, perhaps an action by a family member or a person from your congregation. As you hold that thought, breathe in deeply. With each breath, whisper, “God, open my heart.” Do this “breath prayer” seven times, remembering that Jesus asks us to forgive “seventy times seven.” Throughout the day take time to practice the exercise, always asking, “God, open my heart.”

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will forgive as I have been forgiven.

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