when i’m awful at loving my enemy


Tonight I punched my best friend in the face. With boxing gloves on, but still. And I was a little afraid of how *angry* I was. Not at her, but just in a way that made it feel really good to hit something.

And then I came out and found my car in shambles. Bunch of my stuff gone. Everything thrown around like some kind of tornado hit it. A burning cigarette in the cupholder. It feels awful. I live in that car. To picture somebody going through my personal stuff. Taking my driver’s license. Tearing a picture Kayla drew for me in half. Sitting there and it smells like day old nicotine. You had no right to that. To see those things. To make me feel unsafe. To leave the arm of my favorite jacket swinging out of my trunk. My sleeping bag smells like a cheap bar. How dare you read the letter I had in my console? The one I never had to send. How dare you see all this, be here?

I wanted to hit something. Again and again and again.

I wanted to just park on the side of the highway and cry like a little kid who has realized that monsters may not be real, but maybe there really are scary things in the dark.

I want someone to tell me it’s going to be okay. All of it.

And I’ve spent all day talking about loving my enemies. It’s a veteran’s day spiel. I know the words so well. But I’m lying if I say that this didn’t shake me. Didn’t make me angry. Didn’t frustrate me.

And it’s so stupid.

Today a friend told me her husband is getting deployed in a few months. They weren’t expecting it. And I cried with her. I told her she was so brave, and he was so brave. I told her I would pray for her, and she looked like she almost thought it could help.

And I say that as a pacifist.

I’m so tired of trying to be right. I’m so tired of being angry.

I try to find the words to pray, but every sound I head makes me suddenly afraid, like someone could be breaking my deadbolt at any second.

“but I hope the cash you found in my console helped. I hope you spent it on food and not on drugs. But either way, I hope it helped you get through. It’s cold tonight. I hope you’re sleeping somewhere warm. If not…I wish you’d taken my sleeping bag. I wish you’d taken my favorite sweater (a crazy guy in camel hair once said that if I have two coats one is yours anyway. I’m sorry if I have been keeping it from you). I wish I could have given you more money. I wish I could have given you dinner. I wish we could have talked. I wish we could have looked each other in the eyes and understood so much more than we do. I wish I could roll my eyes and tell you not to smoke so much. I wish I could open my hands and give it to you…all of it. I had a tent in the trunk, if you needed it I wouldn’t have minded at all. I wish I could love you some other way that doesn’t leave me feeling dry, lonely, and kind of afraid. But I’m so sorry I’m afraid. I don’t know how not to be. (and I really do hope her husband is safe and not lonely and not afraid. I hate war, but I don’t hate him. Of course I don’t).”

I punched my best friend in the face tonight, and I’m still a little afraid of the anger I found. I’m not the open-hearted, enemy loving person I wish I was. I wish my hands had fallen open, instead of my fingers being wrenched apart. You can’t punch with an open hand. I wish I’d thought to ask her about her husband without climbing on to any kind of soapbox.

I really don’t want to be angry anymore. I really don’t want to be afraid, either. I just want to be like Jesus.

I’m not at all like Jesus. I don’t know how to be that.I don’t know if I even can be. I wish I did. I wish I was. 

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